Shaping the Future of At-Risk Native American Youth through Culinary Programming

By Searles, Matthew | American Jails, May/June 2014 | Go to article overview

Shaping the Future of At-Risk Native American Youth through Culinary Programming


Searles, Matthew, American Jails


With an assortment of excited murmurs, the guests stood and applauded the slender, young native youth who had just walked into the room. Wearing a white chef's hat and matching smock bearing the IN2WORK logo, he carried two yellow long-stem roses that he handed to his mother and grandmother as he hugged and kissed them.

It was a proud day for the Mohave Indian youth as his friends and family joyfully watched him thank everyone for supporting him. He then began serving the four-course meal he had so carefully prepared for tonight's celebration. This was especially important, not only because it signified the end of a year-long commitment to learning a skilled trade in commercial kitchen operations (including retail basics, commercial business concepts, customer service, and gross marketing), but it also marked the eve of his 18th birthday. Tomorrow, after two years of confinement in a secure detention facility, he was to be released back into the tribal community with a new job skill.

Outside Normal Boundaries

When the Colorado River Indian Tribes opened their new Juvenile Detention Center in January of 2012, they envisioned a safe and secure place where at-risk tribal youth could learn self-respect and personal responsibility, yet still be able to participate and foster positive personal relationships within their community. For this to be effective, the program needed to work outside the boundaries of normal detention ideology. When choosing the facility name, the Tribes veered away from titles that endorsed the negative stigmatism associated with the word "detention" and aptly named the new facility the New Hope Youth Development Center. In order for their youth offender program to be a positive force in the community, these youth offenders need to remain a vital part of their community and to bring something positive back into their community once they are released.

In March 2013, the Tribes completed construction on a second, larger juvenile detention facility that included a fully operational kitchen to support a functioning culinary program. This culinary program would begin by teaching basic commercial kitchen skills, then evolve into a more comprehensive culinary program that utilized hydroponics to farm its own spices, fruits, and vegetables for the program. Furthermore, it would eventually develop a restaurant concept where tribal community members could visit and dine, and released offenders would provide a viable workforce.

The Tribes contacted several inmate food service providers looking for a culinary program to fit their vision. Because the detention program was small with little room for profit, the experience became somewhat vexing. Only one vendor was willing to consider their proposal. Enthusiastic about the Tribes' vision, the vendor also became the facility's new food service provider, and as fate would have it, they already had an existing culinary program designed for adult inmates called "IN2WORK." With some "tweaking" to fit the Tribes' particular needs and a little imagination, they were able to get the very first juvenile IN2WORK program up and running.

One Success Story

One of the first youth offenders to enroll in the new IN2WORK program is the protagonist of our article, Tyler. For 12 months, Tyler climbed offthe taut mattress on his concrete bunk every morning at five a.m., washed his face with cold water, put on his light blue uniform, and waited for the uniformed attendants to come and escort him to the kitchen so he could prepare the morning meal for the hungry inmates of the Tribes' three detention facilities. After the morning meal was served, Tyler's attendants escorted him back to his cell where he gathered his school books and then accompanied him to the classroom where he spent the remainder of the morning studying his first-year college courses. Around noon, Tyler was escorted back to his cell where he quickly showered and dressed, and then returned to the kitchen again to begin preparing the dinner meals. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Shaping the Future of At-Risk Native American Youth through Culinary Programming
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.