LIFE AFTER LIBERTY’S
There are over 1,000 alumni of our Youth Development Program working, learning, and leading in New Orleans and beyond. Graduates leave Liberty’s Kitchen with a range of technical and transferable skills that they can bring to any workplace–whether in culinary and hospitality or elsewhere. More than that, they join a network of graduates and stay connected to our community through our Youth Leadership Council, which is open to all graduates, with no expiration date.
WHAT OUR TRAINEES SAY
"LIBERTY'S KITCHEN IS A GREAT PLACE TO GROW AND LEARN NEW THINGS...I AM HAPPY TO COMPLETE SOMETHING AND NOW I CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF."
CLASS OF 2022
THEY DIDN'T FORGET ABOUT ME ONCE THE PROGRAM ENDED, AND THAT REALLY SHOWED ME THEY CARED. IT CHANGED MY MINDSET FOR THE BETTER."
CLASS OF 2021
After Kiall graduated from Liberty’s Kitchen’s Youth Development Program in 2015, he steadily gained culinary experience working in hotels all over the city, as he kept in touch with his coaches here at Liberty’s Kitchen. Our program team provided Kiall with ongoing mentorship and career coaching as he navigated the hospitality industry, and he became an active member of the Youth Leadership Council.
Kiall eventually brought his talents back to Liberty’s Kitchen as the Distribution Manager for Top Box Foods Louisiana. With the ongoing support of LK, Kiall has continued to thrive and expand his skill set.
In 2019 he earned a scholarship to the International Culinary Center in New York from the MiNO Foundation, where he took a variety of classes with a focus on butchery.
Today, Kiall's journey has come full circle as he currently applies his culinary talents at a local restaurant, a testament to his dedication and hard work.
You may remember Syrena from her sold-out Guest Chef Night in July 2018. After graduating in 2010, this New Orleans native became the first Liberty’s Kitchen graduate to study at the International Culinary Center through the ChefsMove! Scholarship (now the MiNO Foundation scholarship).
She’s worked as a private chef, Chopped Champion, and in some of New Orleans’ best restaurants. Syrena passed on her gifts to others, teaching culinary skills at Job Corps and mentoring other up-and-coming chefs.
Syrena came back to Liberty's Kitchen in 2023 as the Café Cook and Manger leading our revitalized Broad Street café. Syrena has much more ahead of her and we are so honored to be a part of her story.
YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
Our Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is comprised of our alumni leading the cutting edge of our work in career advancement, food access, and entrepreneurship. Through the YLC, we aim to build a more youth-centric organization, create positive opportunities for alumni and participants, and change the narratives surrounding young people in New Orleans. YLC organized a youth-led mayoral candidate forum, visited Washington DC to learn about advocacy, implemented a community-driven food project, and hosted a series of social events for our trainees and alumni. All alumni are welcome to attend YLC meetings every 4th Monday of each month at 4 pm.