Culinary Arts Program Brings More to the Table for Youth at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona

Devereaux Arizona youth culinary program participants

At-risk youth from Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona brought a super-sized helping of personal development and job readiness to the table during a recent luncheon at Devereux’s Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in Scottsdale.

The luncheon capped an eight-week culinary arts program where youth obtain their Arizona Food Handler’s certificate, coinciding with July’s Culinary Arts Month observation. Devereux Arizona’s Culinary Arts Program is a cohort of youth living on a 10-acre campus at its RTC, providing at-risk youth with meaningful learning experiences. Luncheon themes and menu items vary per program.

“This specialized program for at-risk youth is an opportunity generator,” said Frank Castillo, director of residential services at Devereux Arizona. “The skills these youth learn and having them come out of the program with their food handler’s card, we are assisting the preparation for employment.”

This year, two classes of youth graduated from the program. From menu planning, food prep, table setting to serving, participants in Devereux’s culinary program get a taste of real-world dining while sharing each other’s unique talents.

“Along with the new cooking skills learned during the program, these children can build self-confidence, learn about teamwork, safety, public speaking and exposure to different cultures and cuisines,” Castillo said.

Devereux Arizona began a therapeutic day school in 1967. Devereux’s RTC is a 52-bed center where youth between the ages of 517 live and attend school while receiving treatment for emotional, mental, behavioral and/or substance abuse challenges. The RTC, a Level 1 therapeutic facility, is Arizona’s only facility providing youth with specialized programming in a safe environment in which to heal.

About Julie Coleman

Julie Coleman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media and helps individuals, families and businesses maximize the impact of their philanthropy.
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