Even while living in foster homes or on the streets, Charles Harrington was drawn to cooking, drawing inspiration from Food Network celebrities such as Rachel Ray and Bobby Flay. So when Harrington tired of the seemingly endless stream of minimum wage jobs and enrolled at Grossmont College, the Culinary Arts program was his first stop.
“It changed my life,” Harrington said.
Now the 32-year-old Spring Valley resident is on track to earn a certificate of achievement in baking and pastry next June, he’s working as a baker at San Diego State University, and he’s determined to open a delicatessen or perhaps a food truck.
He says he couldn’t have done any of it without Grossmont College, where he has secured a pair of scholarships to help support his dream.
“Every program I signed up for and everyone I saw, whether it was in counseling, EOPS, Umoja – it didn’t matter, they all helped make sure I was going to get where I needed to go,” Harrington said. “From the top administrators all the way to the teachers, they all want you to succeed.”