Pedro Lezama addressed the crowd, sharing how he was able to get hired at Marie Callendar’s while still in high school during a ProStart holiday hiring initiative. Two years later, he’s worked his way to a server position while attending community college. The first in his family to attend college, he hopes to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona next year.
“The ProStart program I did really opened doors for me,” Lezama said. “I got my job at Marie Callender's, which has taught me about working hard, teamwork, thinking on my feet and multitasking. I am very grateful for the experiences I've had with CRAEF and your support.”
ProStart is a two-year curriculum taught in 102 schools across California and is supported statewide by the CRA Educational Foundation.
“We’re thrilled that through our activities and fundraisers we can provide meaningful support to local schools and students,” said Russell Bendel Jr., president of the CRA Orange County chapter. “We all find ways to give back to the community through our individual businesses, but it’s crucial for us as an industry to support our future leaders.”
Orange County is home to more than 6,000 restaurants. For more information, go online at calrest.org/orangecounty.