Building Lives Through Brazen Table

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When we entered 2020 as big dreamers we couldn’t have imagined the incredible shift that our lives and work were about to take. By May it became obvious that all of our previous plans would have to be put on hold and reprioritized as we met the needs that were literally knocking at our doors. In the 5 1/2 years that I have worked for A 2nd Cup, I have come to see that some of our best and most necessary work comes out of places of complete uncertainty. It’s the popcorn idea circles, random texts and emails, the sentences that start off with “what if…” that end up taking us the farthest, the deepest, and honestly…the places we really need to be. Out of a global crisis we compacted our once 22-week in-person programming into an 8-week virtual format all while crossing our fingers that it would fit the bill, communicate clearly, and actually contribute to people’s lives. At the end of the day, we look at each other and realize that going virtual was never something we would have put in a strategic plan before it was absolutely necessary. Necessity helped us reach farther, collaborate more, think creatively and critically, and to take risks. To necessity, we say thank you.

You may have heard that we launched back in January with 8 participants who were just as weary of Zoom meetings and emails as we were, but also similarly eager to try something new, to take the risk with us, to trust that you really CAN learn how to cook from a video. Since then, we have delivered over 33 hours of instruction, 35 hours of one-on-one case management, and have had 3 participants already pass the ServSafe Food Handlers Exam. Additionally, we’ve had 2 participants find employment, helped with countless refreshes on resumes and cover letters, gained and renewed confidence, and each participant has added a few more cheerleaders to their team as they learn to traverse this new world that we are seeing unfold before us.

Cohort #1 of our Brazen Table: Foundations virtual programming is set to celebrate their graduation on March 19th so if you think of these amazing individuals that day, send some love their way. Join us in celebrating them by writing a note or purchasing a graduation gift.

The application for Cohort #2 is open here and is set to start within the first couple of weeks of April. Thank you for all of your support as we pivot, pivot, pivot. Your continued love and encouragement goes a long way especially “in times like these.”

-Kaylen Simpson-Porto, Program Manager

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