The Detroit Food Academy works with local educators, chefs, and business owners to teach young people entrepreneurial skills.
The kitchen is their classroom. And on this day it has the smell and sounds of home. It’s like family, the six student participants from Cody High School say.
It’s the first time the students have prepared this meal. In fact, there are many firsts when preparing cultural dishes, and it’s one of the things the students find most exciting about DFA.
Working with local educators, chefs, and business owners, the Detroit Food Academy, a nonprofit, is helping to build leadership, business, and entrepreneurial skills in students and Detroit area young people, ages 10 to 24.
Students from the seven participating local schools where the program operates go through foundational exercises such as knife skills (making fruit salads), and nutritional elements (making smoothies), before moving on to meal-planning and cooking, led by trained DFA facilitators—two at each school.
On the business end, they are taught budgeting—from planning a food item they want to sell, pricing the ingredients and setting a cost with the goal of making a profit.
Not only is the program providing practical experience for youth, but it’s teaching them “how to think about entrepreneurship, equity and production in the food industry, and getting a wide range of experiences to help them understand food sovereignty.”
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