(Grassroots) Rancho Cielo Youth Campus

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In a Nutshell

Donations fund a commercial blender for the Drummond Culinary Academy, which helps prepare youth for future employment

The Fine Print

100% of donations go directly to Rancho Cielo Youth Campus. Donations are automatically applied. Must provide full name at checkout. See Grassroots FAQs that apply to this campaign. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

The Issue: Necessity of Tools for Practical Learning

When students learn a practical art, such as cooking, it can be difficult to master the craft without hands-on instruction. Teaching them to use the tools they might find in the professional world—rather than simply telling them how they work—prepares them to be knowledgeable and effective in their field. This mindset then leads to confidence and helps them stand out from their peers during the application process. Funding state-of-the-art tools will give Drummond Culinary Academy students the ability to tackle professional projects so they can compete in the job market.

The Campaign: Equipping Youth with a Professional Blender

If this Grassroots campaign raises $490, then Rancho Cielo Youth Campus can purchase a Vita-Prep 3 commercial blender for its kitchen. The Vita-Prep 3 grinds meats, chops vegetables, and purées soups for high-volume, quality cooking. The students can use it to prepare the kitchen's Friday-night menu while learning how to handle a tool they would find in a professional kitchen. Each additional $10 raised will go toward purchasing other essential materials and equipment for the Rancho Cielo kitchen and restaurant.

The Rancho Cielo Drummond Culinary Academy trains high-school-aged youth in the culinary arts under the tutelage of professional chefs. Students work in the kitchen 20 hours each week and complete 200-hour internships at local restaurants, helping to keep them from destructive activities and preparing them for a future in the culinary arts. Students on a rotating schedule also work during Rancho Cielo’s Friday-night dinners, cooking for and serving real customers in order to prepare them for life in a professional restaurant.

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Rancho Cielo Youth Campus

Superior Court Judge John M. Phillips spent his career witnessing the cycle of offending and incarceration in which local youth often became trapped. He founded Rancho Cielo Youth Campus to help prevent first-time offenders from getting stuck in this negative spiral by giving them educational and vocational alternatives to crime. After acquiring the Natividad Boys' Ranch, a long-dormant juvenile-incarceration facility, he transformed it into a comprehensive educational environment with classrooms, a wood shop, a ceramics room, and a natural setting.

Today, Rancho Cielo Youth Campus helps underserved youth in Monterey County find their place in society with educational programs and social services that range from healthful eating to drug diversion. The ranch also provides vocational training and job placement in the culinary-arts and construction fields. The sprawling 100-acre grounds contain two lakes, stables, and a cultivated garden, all of which host outdoor activities and recreational programs including fishing, dance classes, and sports leagues.


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