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Marianne Ali North Star Award Winner: Christine Bates

The Marianne Ali North Star Award is given in honor of our beloved colleague and long-time director of our Culinary Job Training program, Marianne Ali, who passed away in August 2017 after a courageous battle with cancer. This award serves as a reminder of Marianne’s legacy at DC Central Kitchen and our commitment to supporting the continued growth and professional development of our graduates. This year’s Marianne Ali North Star Award winner is Christine Bates!

Christine came to DC Central Kitchen in the spring of 2018 while she was living at Shepherd’s Cove, a homeless shelter in Capitol Heights, MD. Initially unsure of whether our Culinary Job Training program was for her, she enrolled, began to “trust the process,” and didn’t look back. Christine and her team won the cook-off competition (judged by Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema) and she earned the highest GPA of the class. Her proudest moment, however, was being selected by her peers to represent their class and speak at their graduation. Christine plans to use this scholarship to continue her culinary career through the Good Ground Good Life Concessions Training Program at FedexField and ultimately dreams of having a food truck with her family.

The 2018 sponsor of our annual award is the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The NRAEF provides people from all backgrounds the training, education, financial resources and opportunities they need to build pathways to meaningful jobs and careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. DCCK is also part of their Restaurant Ready program, a national program to empower opportunity youth to pursue a path to employment and life-long success. To learn more about the Foundation and their programs, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.