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August 1, 2014, 5:53 am

Culinary arts program awards scholarships

Ten Philadelphia School District seniors participated in the Careers through Culinary Arts Program or C-CAP’s Cooking Competition for Scholarships recently. After creating a two-course French dinner against the clock, the top challengers received the final prizes at the C-CAP 2012 Awards Breakfast held at The Union League, 140 S. Broad St. on May 10.

They walked away with $404,878 in scholarships and cash awards. The senior competitors included Rashad Dowd and Clarence Grimes from Murrell Dobbins High School as well as Vernon Barrett-Dozier, Jr. and Precious Terry from A. Philip Randolph High School. Students Quinesha Gibson, Kevin Isley, Bernard Lipscomb, Jade Milner, Mikea Rivers, and Chelsea Taylor, all from Frankford High School.

“This is so exciting to see my students get scholarships,” said Frankford High culinary teacher Wilma W. Stephenson, who has been teaching at the school for 43 years. “This program has changed lives. The students are so motivated. Some live near 69th Street so to get to Frankford on time they have to leave home at 4:30 a.m.

“We are tough on them in the program. Most don’t come from families like the Huxtables (from the “Cosby” show) so they have their own challenges. Yet to see these kids rise to the occasion coming through the snow, the cold and any weather to get to class and then compete for scholarships is inspiring,” Stephenson said.

Perhaps no one was more excited to receive a scholarship than Gibson. She earned a full scholarship to earn her bachelor’s degree from Monroe College. The $58,500 award sets her on the track to become a world class chef.

Yet it was Milner, who earned the highest scholarship prize of $104,448 to attend Johnson & Wales University with an all-expenses paid bachelor’s scholarship. “I am so happy to get this scholarship,” Milner said.

Barret-Dozier and Dowd received C-CAP scholarship awards of $2,000. The other students will be attending LeCordon Bleu, the Culinary Institute of America, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute of Philadelphia on full or partial C-CAP scholarships.

C-CAP was founded by Richard Grausman more than 20 years ago. Grausman, C-CAP’s chairman, is a cookbook author, culinary educator, and the recipient of numerous awards. Among his accolades are the President’s Service Award and the James Beard Humanitarian Awards. C-CAP began in 12 New York City public schools and has expanded to 165 New York schools as well as schools in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Hampton Roads, Chicago, Los Angeles, and the state of Arizona.

The organization’s Philadelphia staffers are program director Victoria Grant and program coordinator Chef Wilhelmina Bell. Sponsors of the May 10 breakfast included The Union League of Philadelphia, Drexel University, and The Art Institute of Philadelphia.