August 31, 2019 – The ceremony is preceded by a plated meal the students plan and prepare. On the menu: short ribs, au gratin potatoes, and roasted carrots, followed by several dessert options. “We needed someone to bring it out in us and that’s what they did here,” said graduate Johnny Gibson, as he was presented with a food handler certificate issued by the County of Napa. The students learn culinary skills but also develop confidence and character. “I learned how to work in a team, and stay honest, and have a work ethic,” graduate Anthony Zambrano told KTVU.  Zambrano says he drank away his 20’s, describing it as a “fog”, but now, with sobriety and new knowledge, he has a job at a Japanese restaurant in Napa.  “I love to create, my goal is to be a chef,” said Zambrano, as he greeted his mom and other relatives who traveled from Southern California for the ceremony.  “I don’t actually take any of this for granted,” said Zambrano, “because I know it can be gone any second, so every day is a blessing.”That attitude makes graduates from the Salvation Army program attractive hires.

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