Inaugurated in March 2021, Chef Cares Dream Academy assists juvenile offenders and underprivileged youths in realising their dreams of becoming professional chefs.
The inaugural class consists of 12 young adults, with ages ranging from 18-24. Half of the group comes from Thailand’s juvenile corrections system, while the other six come from marginalized communities in remote areas of Thailand, including hill tribe members, who were nominated by the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University's Center of Communication and Development Knowledge Management.
The students were selected after submitting their profile and going through an interview process, and each will receive a full scholarship for a 5 month program that consists of two months of intensive culinary instruction at PIM followed by a three month practical internship in the kitchen of a top chef from the Chef Cares network. The program is meant to give them a solid footing in the culinary arts that they can use as a springboard to becoming a professional chef,
while also providing inspiration for others in their peer groups to become aspiring chefs.
Along the way, the students will also have the benefit of a competency development program under a psychiatrist’s supervision. This program aims to boost the student’s self-determination and resilience by helping them better understand their strengths and weaknesses, with the goal of increasing their potential while also managing potential obstacles. The program will also help the youth adjust to the demands of restaurant work, with a focus on becoming a good team player through effective communication that enhances cooperation.
This foundation of support, from practical learning to psychological development, gives the students a helping hand in pursuing their dreams and becoming valuable members of society.