Next week, three students from the Orange County School of the Arts entrepreneur team will travel to North Charleston, South Carolina to compete against other young culinary superstars in the 2017 National ProStart Invitational. These students are advancing to nationals after defeating teams from high schools throughout California in the statewide CA ProStart Cup. Now they must leverage their skills and determination to compete against 375 other students from teams representing states throughout the nation.
Last month, Orange County School of the Arts took first place against student competitors from 28 other high schools in the BJ’s Restaurants Management ProStart Cup presented by the California Restaurant Association Foundation. The challenge? Student entrepreneurs pitched their restaurant concepts including a supporting menu, a marketing plan, and a detailed design. Orange County School of the Arts won the judges over with their “C&C Eatery” restaurant concept, a community-oriented restaurant serving up home-style favorites.
Now these high school juniors and seniors are headed to the National ProStart Invitational in North Charleston, South Carolina on April 28th – 30th. Judges are the best in the industry, from leading corporations, colleges, and universities. The top five teams in the competition are awarded trophies, medals, and generous scholarships to further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
“This is such an exciting opportunity for Orange County School of the Arts’ talented students,” says Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the California Restaurant Association Foundation. “These budding entrepreneurs will represent California on a national stage, showcasing their talent, creativity, and passion for this industry.”
About the California Restaurant Association Foundation: CRAF has awarded more than $1.75 million in scholarships and grants since its inception in 1981. CRAF works to enhance education and training programs within the hospitality industry.
About ProStart: ProStart is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students, which develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. In California, the ProStart program is operated by CRAF in 127 public high schools, reaching 9,000 students from Redding to San Diego. CRAF enriches these culinary arts classrooms through field trips, culinary and management competitions, and industry networking opportunities that work together to make school engaging, relevant and fun. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.