“I’m most grateful for the program because it allowed me to gain focus and clear goals for my next step,” Shamyr says of Philabundance Community Kitchen. “It gave me confidence.”

Shamyr joined the culinary arts training program for low- to no-income adults earlier this year and graduated in May. She’d worked previously as a substitute teacher, but was looking for a fresh start.

Shamyr absolutely loves to cook and bake, and at home she cooks every meal for her growing daughters, ages 7, 2 and 10 months. Recently, Shamyr visited Philabundance Community Kitchen with her youngest in tow. As a single parent, managing her demanding class schedule and raising a family wasn’t easy, but was worth it.

Shamyr says she’s benefitted from the many connections Philabundance has within the local food service industry. Her favorite part of the program was using the skills she had learned to help cater an event during March Madness.

Looking toward the future, Shamyr’s embracing her entrepreneurial spirit. She and a former classmate are working on business models for a catering company, food truck and outreach program for their neighbors facing homelessness.

Shamyr couldn’t be more grateful for friends like you who are helping her build her skill set and opening new doors that will allow her to better support her young family and set an example for her children. You’re giving her the skills to work at a job she loves with a paycheck that will keep her family fed.

“Thank you for supporting the opportunity for people to change their lives and giving them another chance,” Shamyr says.