CJTP Student Comes Full Circle

A recent Culinary Job Training Program graduate exemplifies Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s culture of second chances.

In 2007 Sherby was employed at the Food Shuttle as Egg Checker. On Friday she graduated from the Culinary Job Training Program with a ServSafe Manager’s Training certificate. It took ten years, but Sherby has come full circle and returned to the Food Shuttle family.

At the time that she was Egg Checker, Sherby was on Work Release from the NC Correctional Institute for Women. Each workday, Sherby would take the bus to work in the morning and return to the prison at night. Work Release participation is based on factors such as the sentence received and the inmate’s record of behavior. Participating inmates must be in the last months of their sentence, and are screened by prison managers.

After her year working in the Egg Room, Sherby kept the Food Shuttle in the back of her mind. She told herself “I’m coming back one day.” Sherby acknowledges she has made a lot of mistakes in her life. Her path led from trouble to the Women’s Prison, back to trouble, and then to the Raleigh Rescue Mission. It was there that she overheard a case manager recommending the Culinary Job Training Program to a client. “I know that program,” Sherby said, “I want to enroll too!”

Sherby had undergone other food service training in her search for a meaningful way to make a living, studying such things as dish washing, ordering, stocking and cashiering. She feels the CJTP is “a much better program” because it is hands-on kitchen work preparing real food for consumption by real Food Shuttle programs and clients.

“I used to be a quitter,” she freely admits, but “Raleigh Rescue Mission helped me stay on the path.” Now she has tasted success, and she has confidence in herself as a result. “I have a 5-year plan, and I tell it to everybody who will listen. In five years I am going to buy myself a house!”

From homeless to homeowner in five years? We do not doubt Sherby’s ability to do anything she sets her mind to—after all, she made it through CJTP!