Apprentice Stories: Lance

Born in East Oakland, our Apprentice Lance was a US Marine Corps. Special Teams veteran, a Cordon Bleu graduate, and a budding culinarian, when the unthinkable happened. His family was being threatened and, in a split second, he made the decision to self-sacrifice to protect the lives of his wife and child. Unfortunately, his actions resulted in an 18-year prison sentence.

But no one choice should define who you are. “While in prison, I became a certified welder, an ordained minister, got my doctorate’s degree in divinity, and saved the lives of five people (two guards, two staff members and an inmate).” His fortitude compelled a reduction in his sentence from 18 to 12 years. Lance came to Kitchens for Good to pursue his lifelong passion for cooking and take his life forward.

My dream has always been
to open a food truck.

Lance is now working to fulfill his ultimate ambition, “My dream has always been to open a food truck.” Since entering the Kitchens for Good program, he is well on his way. “The program has helped me progress in my skills, my presentation and my speed. I would tell anyone who gets the opportunity to come to Kitchens for Good that you will love it – it’s amazing! You learn a ton and make friends for life.”

Lance found himself in a precarious position that few can fathom the thought of. Yet, he’s made peace with his reality and perseveres towards the path of entrepreneurship with the help of Kitchens for Good. “They continue to give me opportunities and I’m so grateful for that. I just hope I can bring something back to this program and talk to the new class to tell them what [Kitchens for Good] has done for me.”

Lance completed his 10 weeks of skills training and is now working at Hotel del Coronado as a Cook 3.

Apprentice Lance Class 28