Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Some Good News

Cooks get training for future

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        If you ask Dennis Coskie, kitchen manager for Cincinnati Cooks, he will tell you that the agency is just like history: it repeats itself. Every five weeks, it has another success story.

        Cincinnati Cooks is a training program in the West End. Last week it graduated 10 more people who will move into the work force as cooks and managers of restaurants, cafeterias and kitchens.

        “Most of the people who graduate from here go on to pretty good jobs,” Mr. Coskie said.

        “We have people who come here with problems they have had in the past, but they are able to put that behind them and take advantage of what we offer.”

        The program, started last year, is sponsored by the FreeStore/FoodBank as part of its Rosenthal Community Kitchen.

        “Nineteen people have graduated and 14 are employed,” Mr. Coskie said last week before the graduation.

        Zoraida Bermudez, 42, a single mother with three children who came to the program from a battered women's shelter, was among the first graduates.

        Ms. Bermudez took the 10-week course and is now a full-time cook and kitchen manager for the YWCA women's shelter of Cincinnati.

        “It is a great program, and I would recommend it to anybody,” Ms. Bermudez said. “You not only learn about cooking, preparing meals, but a lot of life skills go into the program.”

        Ms. Bermudez, of Winton Terrace, graduated in August and had a job three weeks later.

        “Our graduates are motivated individuals who came into the program with hope, with a dream, but without the needed skills or prospects. And now they are going out as trained cooks with prospects for good jobs,” said Fred Diamond, co-chairman of the Cincinnati Cooks advisory board.

        Classes are held at 425 Ezzard Charles Drive, West End, in a 3,100-square-foot board of health commercial kitchen.

        The program is free. Anyone interested should call the FreeStore/FoodBank at 241-1064.
       • • •

        “Brothers Bringing Brothers to Jesus” is the theme of a three-day Men's Music Workshop, March 7-9 at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 10180 Woodlawn Ave., Woodlawn.

        The workshop is the prelude to Mount Zion's Men's Day 2002 program at 10:45 a.m. March 10.

        The workshops are open to the public. They will be held 7-9 p.m. March 7-8 and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 9.

        Carlton Burgess, a composer and musician from Washington, D.C., will lead the workshop. He wrote “Jesus, I Love The Name,” which was recorded by the America Mass Choir in 1986. He also wrote “I'm Not Afraid,” which was recorded by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in 1995. The choir won a Grammy award for the recording.

        For more information, call 772-6230.

       Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.


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