Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) students Jabreya Gilbert and Sheanejah Crabbe, were recently named recipients of the US Foods Scholars program.
Crabbe is a hospitality and tourism management major at B-CU. Gilbert is also studying hospitality with a concentration in events and entertainment. Each student will receive a $20,000 scholarship to help cover their culinary or hospitality education expenses.
Applicants are based on several criteria, including academic performance, financial need and a personal essay. Both Gilbert and Crabbe demonstrated outstanding potential and achievement in the culinary arts.
Crabbe has been cooking for over 12 years. Her father owns a vegan cuisine restaurant, which inspired her to pursue a culinary career. She said that jerk bake barbecue tofu is one of her favorite dishes to prepare and celebrity chefs, Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Rachael Ray are her cooking idols.
“It means that I was willing to fight for all I desire and not only just about academics,” Crabbe said on being a US Foods Scholar recipient. “I have worked beyond my comfort zone to seek out resources and solutions that others would never try to find.”
The St. Thomas native hopes to become the first U.S. Virgin Islander to become a general manager of a hotel and own a Caribbean restaurant.
Gilbert also aspires to have her own restaurant and become an event coordinator. Her culinary and hospitality journey started when she was 8 years old, watching her mother host family gatherings.
The Homestead native realized that the hospitality is what made people come back. Becoming a US Foods Scholar means a multitude of things to her.
“Being a US Foods Scholar puts me into an elite category that helps spotlight those who are excelling in what they do,” said Gilbert, whose signature dish is a grilled Atlantic salmon over a bed of wild rice with asparagus.
“It means that I get to uphold the core values of US Foods and intertwine them with my own. It also means that I have an opportunity to grow beyond my wildest dreams.”
Inspire future chefs
Gilbert and Crabbe were among 18 students who were recipients of the scholar program.
Along with the $20,000, each student will have training opportunities with US Foods culinary professionals.
The US Foods Scholars program aims to inspire students to reach their full potential and contribute a meaningful solution to the talent shortage facing the restaurant industry. Since launching in 2017, the program has offered more than $1,000,000 in scholarships to 51 students.
“We’re delighted to announce the newest members of the US Foods Scholars program and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments as they serve as the next generation of culinary talent,” said David Works, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, US Foods in a press release.
“It’s been inspiring to watch the program grow over the many years, and we are excited to support our new scholars as they embark on the next stage of their educational journey.”
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