Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Pressure Cooker"

Last Friday, I went to the Denver Film Festival to check out a new documentary called "Pressure Cooker" produced by Jennifer Grausman. The film was based on the growth of some inner kids that became involved in a non-profit organization called "C-cap". This program works with inner city schools in numerous cities across the country by helping students and teachers consider the hospitality industry as a career path. They give the students a chance to change their lives by awarding culinary scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $80,000. Since they started this program in 1990, C-cap has awarded over $25 million in culinary scholarships. Each year they host culinary competitions that take undeserved students through a rigorous cycle of essay writing, cooking techniques, interviews, and stressful situations. This film took you into the world of Mrs. Stephenson's culinary program in Philadelphia at Frankford High School. She was tougher than any chef I've ever worked for and truly cared about the students she was teaching. The film focused on 3 students that were trying to make their way out of some bad situations and better themselves for the future. It was an inspirational documentary that followed these students and their teacher from the first day of school to the end of the year where they had clearly made a change about their outlook on life. I was touched by this film because it hit really close to home as I had been one of those students during my senior year of high school . Mr. Richard Grausman (who is the president of the organization) asked me to come view the film and give my opinion since I had been through the program and made my own way out of a bad situation. After I participated in the C-cap program, I was awarded a scholarship to the Art Institute of Phoenix. C-cap is a family that gives chances to students who are willing take advantage of an opportunity and build their own futures for the better. I don't know where I would have been if they hadn't given me a chance to change my lifestyle and stop making some bad decisions that could have ended with serious consequences. I cannot wait for the film to make a debut to the public and start to share this inspirational story that each year students re-write for themselves. Make sure to look out for "Pressure Cooker" next year and watch it if you get the chance, it's well worth it. If you want to really see what C-cap is about make sure to check out their website.

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