Hope School's culinary program teaches students life skills

MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Jalisa Wilson has been in the Hope School's culinary program for three years.

"I like serving people and helping people out, so it's really neat to show people new things and stuff," Wilson said.

As the manager, it's Jalisa's job to help teach her fellow students.

"I would like to be a role model," Wilson said. "Show them that one day ya'll can be a manager and help them out and show them the right way to do it, the correct way, and I love that job."

The Falcons Diner chefs are learning more than just how to toss salad and pour tea.

"It's super important for these kids," teacher Christi Lovely said. "They're 18- to 22-year-olds and they're getting ready to go into the workforce, so they're learning all kinds of cooperation skills, job skills. They're learning how to serve, how to do the dishes, all aspects of a job."

The students cook several meals during the week, sometimes for groups of up to 40 people.

The Falcons Diner students also cater several events in the community.

Their next big dinner will be held in February for Valentine's Day.