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Fighting to save culinary program, scholarships for L.A. high schools

June 23, 2009 |  3:09 pm


Even though L.A. Unified isn’t renewing its contract with a program called C-CAP, or Careers through Culinary Arts Program, some high schools may continue the contracts on their own.

C-CAP offers teacher training, internships, scholarships and other services. It charges schools $3,500 if they have one teacher. A few weeks ago, it awarded nearly $600,000 in culinary scholarships to 34 L.A.-area high school seniors.

Mitzie Cutler, director of C-CAP in Los Angeles, says she sent information packets to all the principals in an effort to convince them the program is worth funding.

Andi Phillips, who teaches cooking at Marshall High, says her students plan to raise money with a cupcake auction. She’s also contacted the school’s alumni group in hopes of raising money.

At Roosevelt High, however, the culinary program closed this spring. Roosevelt, one of the schools in the mayor’s partnership program, is converting from a year-round to a traditional calendar. The culinary program was cut for budget reasons, says Nadia Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s program.

The teacher in the program, Patricia Farley Terry, says her students are upset and disappointed. She has 26 years of experience at Roosevelt, and won’t be unemployed, but she will have to teach another subject, either at Roosevelt or elsewhere.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Ariel Rogers, from Manual Arts High School, won one of the top scholarships earlier this month. Photo credit: Axel Koester / Los Angeles Times)