“Yulie” (Ayulieth) Reyes has a passion to one day own her own traditional Mexican restaurant. After moving to America with her own family, Yulie’s dream led her to several jobs working in restaurants. Then she saw a Craigslist ad for Goodwill’s Culinary Skills program.
“When I looked at the program at Goodwill I realized they had the full bundle, a way to continue my overall education,” said Reyes. “At Goodwill’s Neighborhood Bistro I could push myself and afford to make mistakes – like the time I ruined all the cookies for the day! Instead of losing my job like at a restaurant, I was able to grow from that mistake.”
What impressed Yulie the most was the personalized mentoring and breadth of training offered by the program. “Goodwill culinary trainers Jeff and Kendra teach restaurant management by example. Among other things, I learned the front and back end of the business, how to not waste money, how to work with and treat employees and customers, and how to organize a kitchen.”
Yulie’s crowning achievement in the program was her performance at the “Rising Chefs’ Dinner,” a job placement showcase where area restaurants are invited to a five-course student dining experience. The night led to a position as pastry chef with El Gaucho in Tacoma. When you shop or donate to Goodwill, you are helping people like Yulie achieve their dreams.