SOURCE: High School Inc.

June 20, 2013 11:05 ET

High School Inc.'s Culinary Arts Academy Takes First Place in Cooking up Change Competition

Local Student Team Wins National Contest by Creating Healthy School Food Recipe

SANTA ANA, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 20, 2013) - High School Inc., a program that provides high school students with career and technical education in a hands-on learning environment, today announced that its Culinary Arts Academy recently won first prize in the national Cooking up Change® competition for the second consecutive year. Cooking up Change challenges high school culinary students across the nation to rewrite the recipe for school food. The High School Inc. student team, based at Valley High School and comprised of Cesar Amezcua, Cecilia Magana and Carlos Ortiz, are national winners and also took top honors in the regional Orange County Cooking up Change contest, making them eligible to compete nationally. High School Inc. is a partnership of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, eight regional teams were given strict guidelines to use 10 ingredients, along with a budget that mirrored the constraints that schools face across the country when meal-planning. These student-designed meals have also been seen on school lunch menus, including their very own cafeterias, proving that cafeteria food can truly be both nutritious and delicious. The High School Inc. students' winning meal was for their dish "Pita Packs a Punch" with hot and sweet slaw and delicious apple crepes.

One dish from each regional team's meal will be served at an upcoming Congressional briefing -- "The Future of School Food" -- and will be available in the cafeteria that serves our nation's leaders and their staff. The High School Inc. students, who will be in attendance to present their healthy school lunch, will share their thoughts about the future of school nutrition.

The High School Inc. winning team was led by their inspirational teacher, Monica Aguilar and her assistant, Laura Herbert. With an extraordinary amount of dedication and teamwork from the students, outstanding support from High School Inc.'s Culinary Arts teachers and volunteer chefs, the Santa Ana Unified School District and the High School Inc. Foundation, this outstanding award was made possible.

High School Inc. Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 whose mission is to prepare high school students for a 21st century workplace; equip them to become successful employees, entrepreneurs, and life-long learners; support businesses with a highly productive workforce and stimulate job growth; and create a renewed sense of community pride. Through a unique collaboration between High School Inc. Foundation, the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, and the Santa Ana Unified School District, this "project-based learning" or "academy concept," is acting as a catalyst for social and economic change.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Marty Earlabaugh
    High School Inc. Foundation
    714-514-9667 (mobile)