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Cooking for a Cause

Northwest Community College student Jeannie Campbell is enrolled in the Professional Cook Level 1 (PC1) Apprenticeship program. Originally from Gitanmaax of Hazelton, Jeannie was raised in Prince Rupert, but has been living in Kitwanga for the past 32 years with her husband and children. In 2009 she achieved her certificate in NWCC’s Business Administration (BADM), but decided to return this year to pursue her passion in the food industry; but not without the encouragement of her family, especially her daughter Sabrina, who is also enrolled in her second year of the Professional Cook program and has completed her BADM.

“First I took BADM then Sabrina copied me, then she took PC and now I’m copying her,” laughs Jeannie, who wasn’t even sure she was going to secure a spot, “…it was a fluke I made it in; someone dropped-out and I was asked to join one week late.”

Recently NWCC Professional Cook students put their skills to good use when they travelled to K’San Place in Terrace. Students helped serve up a nourishing lunch of soups, sandwiches and wraps to those in need. Since 1979, K’San Society has been providing unique social services to the Terrace community such as programming, safe shelter, food and essentials to the homeless, disadvantaged and women and children fleeing abusive circumstances.

Peggy Julseth, a Coordinator for K’San Place said the event was a success, “Wow! What a great lunch! Our final count was 57, once latecomers were fed. Even after… we had several people come to the kitchen door, so we fed them too.”

Jeannie was one of the students who participated in the event and is no stranger to volunteering. She spends much of her free time giving back to two non-profit organizations; one helps gather Christmas presents for children and the elderly, and the other fundraises for Elders in her community.

“Most of the money we raise [for the non-profits] comes from catering. This is how I became intrigued by the whole food industry,” said Jeannie. “I love to see people eat and enjoy the food [I’ve cooked], it makes me happy when they want seconds.”

Jeannie’s passion for helping others and serving her community was inspired at a young age.

“I believe giving back to the community is important. My mother and grandmother would always say, ‘because you just never know when you might need help and it will be there.’”

Jeannie enjoys cooking for others, especially her family, and with all the opportunities the program provides her, she has registered for the next level of her apprenticeship and will be continuing on to Professional Cook Level 2.

“I enjoy this program. It opens so many more doors for me and I have the opportunity to cook different foods and the challenge of creating a meal that I can’t even pronounce.” She adds, “…especially trying something new, and then cooking it for my family when I go [home] for the weekends.”

Both she and Sabrina intend to complete the entire program with the goal of being accredited with their Red Seals in Professional Cooking.

For more information on the Professional Cook Apprenticeship program please visit:
nwcc.bc.ca/program/professional-cook-apprenticeship-1-2-3

For more information about K’San Place & the services offered: ksansociety.ca