Student Success Stories

Joe Gomez


Joe GomezJoe Gomez is the proud owner of his own business - a busy restaurant in Davenport with a growing reputation for fresh, flavorful authentic Mexican food. But, Joe’s future didn’t always look this bright. And he’s the first one to tell you that. “I didn’t always make the best choices or decisions. Too often, I really didn’t care about other people and did what I wanted to do without always thinking about the consequences,” he says. “Looking back, that led me to years of my life that were just wasted and not something I could be proud of.”

The good news? Joe made a decision to turn his life around. Which led him to the Culinary program at Scott Community College. “My instructors there really believed in me. They gave me a chance,” he adds. And, oh boy, what he’s done with it! “My cousin and I worked together to open this restaurant,” Joe explains. “He had some experience in the food business. All I had was a love for cooking, my experience through my education and apprenticeship with the SCC Culinary Arts program (Joe graduated with an A.A.S degree) and a real desire to build something successful.” Together with support from family and others, Los Primos now employs 8 people and is enjoying a growing business in its first year. “Getting my degree wasn’t easy – I had to work hard and really commit to making it work,” he says. “I was so happy and so proud on the day I graduated. Now I put those feelings into my business – doing something I love and making people feel good to be here. I want everyone to know: If I can do this, YOU can do this.”

Alyssa Bradley


Alyssa BradleySCC Culinary Arts Graduate Alyssa Bradley Cooks Her Way to Success


It’s been a year since Alyssa Bradley graduated from the culinary arts program at Scott Community College. Not only has she since landed a job, but she’s doing work that she’s truly passionate about.

“I’m the Farmer to Family Director at Grateful Graze in Cambridge, Ill.,” Bradley said. “Our cattle are 100 percent grass-fed, grass-finished. And I help to connect that product to the consumer.”

Grateful Graze prides itself on a product that is natural, eco-friendly, and antibiotic-free. And because of Bradley’s degree in culinary arts, she can advise customers on her product’s benefits and how to properly cook it.

“Because of what I learned in school, I am familiar with meat and other proteins,” she said. “I can help prepare a certain type of meat at a customer’s request.”

Bradley’s passion for food dates back to a high school foods class.

“We just learned the basics: baking, breakfast items, canning, etc. That really sparked my interest,” she said. “And when I worked at Hy-Vee, I ran across meal prepping and realized I needed so much more education and experience in food to be successful in the future.”

 

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