Of the 347 excited students attending the graduation ceremony at St. Augustine College on May 27, 2017, one of them confess that she are not only getting the reward for her efforts, but the transformation of her live.

Guadalupe Diaz, married with three children, of Mexican descent graduated as Magna Cum Laude – the second highest grade achieved by a student – obtaining her Associate in Applied Sciences in Culinary Arts.

“Graduating for me, is not only getting a degree to work at a prestigious restaurant, It is a real personal and family achievement, because this is a triumph for my whole family, my husband and my children. For me personally, it is the satisfaction that apart from being a mother, a wife, a daughter and all those functions in my life, I was able to graduate from a professional career. It’s something that I thought I would not be able to do after finishing high school 12 years ago because I had my children…It’s been a long wait to savor this moment … (Guadalupe is interrupted by her tears)… I did not do it for my children, my husband or my parents, but for myself,” she said.

Guadalupe confesses that she is excited because it is a satisfaction that before mistakenly thought that it was not for her. “It was like many thought that because of my age school was no

longer for me. Now, knowing that I did it, no matter how old I am, I’m going to walk in my gown, I’m going to have my graduation ceremony, my graduation party and my title that credits all my effort. It was worth not only my sleeplessness, but all my husband’s efforts to work alone to keep the house, pay for books, gas, and pick up the children from school while I was studying; And also the sacrifice of my children who were the ones who had to stay longer in school because mom was in school too; and had short summer vacations because mom also needed to take summer classes. That is what excites me, the satisfaction that I achieved something that changed my life and that fills me with something internal that I can’t describe … that’s what my graduation means to me,” she said.

Culinary Arts at SAC

Knowledge of the culinary arts is vital to many roles in the hospitality industry, including restaurants and hotels, and for other businesses providing food, such as hospitals, retirement homes and corporate cafeterias.

Students that complete our Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts will be qualified to enter the food-service industry in mid-level positions, for example as line cooks, first cooks and sub-chefs. This course is ideal for those who wish to gain theoretical and practical skills in the culinary arts, and wish to seek employment in a related field directly after graduation, or intend to open a restaurant or other related business.

Graduates will have an understanding of:

•Culinary techniques, procedures, styles and services

•Basic and advanced food preparation techniques

•Safe food, equipment and tool handling

•How to determine standardized recipe and menu costing

by Eduardo Alegria

Translation to English: Johanna Castro