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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Kendall College Trust Launches Summer Culinary Camp

Not-for-Profit Brings Underserved CPS Students to the Kitchen

Press Release – Kendall College Trust, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit providing need-based financial support to Kendall College students pursuing degrees in hospitality, culinary arts, and business, announces the launch of 2017 Summer Culinary Camp, offering opportunities for Chicago’s underserved youth. Through a partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and C-CAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts Program), the impactful program introduces culinary skills to high school students in impoverished areas of Chicago, sparking interest in future careers.

In its second year, KCT helps a select number of CPS students attend culinary camps at Kendall College, keeping kids productive and establishing a career path early on. Helmed by Executive Director, Catherine De Orio, the camp builds meaningful relationships, forging connections at a pivotal time in students’ lives. Following last year’s successful summer program, the 2017 season adds a second session, giving 48 students the opportunity to stay in Kendall College dorms and get their feet wet in the culinary world. KCT has also partnered with Conagra Brands Foundation, receiving a generous grant of $20,000 for summer culinary camp as part of the organization’s first round of funding in Chicago.

“In addition to sparking interest in culinary arts and hospitality, the camp expands kids’ horizons, not only building culinary skills, but also opening their minds to Chicago’s culture and community,” says De Orio. “We’re bringing together students with similar backgrounds and interests, ultimately forming a network of likeminded individuals. Summer Culinary Camp is incredibly rewarding, and it’s been very exciting overseeing its growth.”

During the summer, these young adults have the chance to learn cooking and baking skills, behind-the-scenes restaurant operations, and even help out in some of the city’s best restaurant kitchens, all while staying in Kendall College’s dorms. Applications, managed by C-CAP, opened this spring with initial spots awarded to winners of a C-CAP junior-year cooking competition and then expanding to other eligible CPS students. Sessions include:

Taste of the Kitchen (June 26 – 30)

New this year, Taste of the Kitchen serves as an introduction to culinary school for freshman and sophomore students. Courses cover basic cooking, baking and pastry, nutrition, butchery, knife cutting, sanitation, use of equipment, and kitchen terminology. While the focus is on culinary, KCT incorporates hospitality and front of house techniques, offering a well-rounded experience.

Advanced (July 10 – 14)

The advanced session brings together soon-to-be seniors to learn expert culinary skills including professional knife cuts, cooking methods and butchery. A nutritional element is also incorporated into the program, teaching students the ins and outs of micro and macronutrients, serving sizes, and disease prevention.

In addition to time in Kendall College’s kitchens and classrooms, campers also embark on cultural excursions, reveling in all that Chicago has to offer. From attending Broadway in Chicago shows and dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, to visiting Navy Pier, The Art Institute, and Green City Market, students experience it all.

With an end goal of creating a sustainable cycle propelling students into meaningful careers, Kendall College Trust plans on developing a vocational track beginning with Culinary Camp and going through a post-college mentorship program. As the camp grows, KCT looks forward to expanding its reach, continuing to make a difference in the lives of aspiring chefs and hospitality leaders. For more information on Kendall College Trust, including ways to get involved, visit

About Kendall College Trust

Kendall College Trust (KCT), a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit, provides resources and opportunities that support educational advancement and career development for students with financial need. Since its 2008 inception, Kendall College Trust has awarded over $2 million dollars in scholarship funds to help students complete their education. In summer 2016, KCT launched a program in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and C-CAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts Program) sending students in underserved communities to summer culinary camp, sparking interest and providing skills in the culinary arts. KCT provides nearly a quarter of a million dollars in scholarship funding annually to help students build a solid foundation for their future. For additional information on Kendall College Trust, call 312.752.2352, email, or visit

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