A team of students from Maxwell High School of Technology earned full scholarships after winning a chef competition. The team took home 1st place at the inaugural USDA Southeast Regional Junior Chef Competition at Sullivan University in Kentucky. As a result of the win, Sullivan University offered each member of the team— Preston Gouge, De’Avion Frezell, Angélica Burgos, and Joyce Park— full scholarships worth an estimated $60,000 for each student.
Amanda Williams, the team’s culinary arts instructor, is proud of her students, saying “These students have been working really hard and are some of the most dedicated students I’ve had.”
Maxwell High’s team qualified for the regional competition after earning 1st place at the Georgia Department of Education’s (GaDOE’s) Farm to School Shake it Up Student Chef Competition. The Junior Chef Competition teaches students about school nutrition meals along with valuable skills in recipe development, nutrition, food preparation, food safety, marketing, public presentation, organization, teamwork, and community involvement. At the same time, participating students learn about the importance of agriculture and the economic impact purchasing local foods can have on communities.
Eight states— Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee— participated in the regional competition, which was hosted by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.