Giving Tuesday

Home / News / Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday

We wanted to share our 2019 student’s journey with you in the hopes that you will be generous enough to donate to next year’s students for this #GivingTuesday! Here are the stories that Yan Torres and Alejandro Castellon wanted to share with all of you!

To donate, please visit

Yan Torres

As my time in New York City comes to an end, and I get
ready to go back home the feeling is bittersweet. The past ten months have been
amazing, I had the opportunity to eat incredible food, visit wonderful places
and make relationships that will last a lifetime. Thinking back to when I first
arrived it’s crazy to see how much I’ve changed and grown as a person. This
opportunity has opened so many doors, both professionally and personally.
Throughout my journey I learned not only about gastronomy but I also learned
many life lessons that help shaped my mentality about everything.

I’m very grateful to everyone that made this possible,
starting with Chef Aarón Sánchez. Through his passion to help Hispanic youth, I
was able to be here. I’m thankful for all his mentoring, and simply believing
in my potential and in my abilities. Throughout the time in New York City I had
the chance to work under two chefs and mentors, both restaurants very different
became a home while in the city. Chef Adam from the Gumbo Bros’ helped me get
adjusted in the first few months. And Chef Jose Luis from Mission Ceviche took
great care of me for the remaining months. I’m grateful to both chefs and their
staffs, who made me feel at home when I most needed it. I’m also very thankful
to everyone at the International Culinary Center, this place and everyone that
works in it from our chef instructors, to the staff and my wonderful
classmates, became fundamental in my growth here. I will never forget them, and
everything that I learned here.

I’m incredibly grateful for Chef Zarela Martinez, who
became a mentor, a confidant and a friend. Words can’t thank her enough for
everything. I’m very grateful for Kate Floberg, who took great care of me and
was always there when needed. She became more than just the funds director; she
became a friend. Lastly I want to thank everyone that has donated or somehow
been a part of making this a possibility. You’ve made what seemed like
opportunities I could only dream of my reality.

I just want to say that everyone mentioned here is so
important to me. This has changed my life, every little experience and every lesson
learned. But before finishing this last journal I want to especially thank
Alejandro, we’ve shared this journey up to now and there’s no one I would’ve
rather shared it with. In these months you became my brother and although our
journeys take different paths now, we will always be family. Here’s to more
adventures and to continue growing and kicking butt in our careers.

To the future recipients, take advantage of this
opportunity to the max. Don’t take any second of it for granted. You guys will
do great things!

And remember we are the future of the Hispanic community, in and outside
the kitchen.

Alejandro Castellon

Wow, what a journey it has
been. Now that our time here in New York has come to an end, I can’t express my
appreciation enough. This entire experience has been amazing and one like no
other. I have learned so much here in the big Apple from school, mentors, and
the city life. When I received my diploma from The International Culinary
Center in the professional culinary arts program,  I felt proud of myself knowing that I have
overcome so much and I did the best I could. Thank you so much for allowing me
to have a once in a lifetime experience.

Through my time in New York,
I have become a better person, cook, brother, and son. Not only have I gained
more cooking experience and knowledge but I have also learned so many life
skills that will help me to be better. Though my time of 10 months here were
nice, it feels a little weird and saddening that I’m going back home, I know it
will be great to bring all of the skills and knowledge back home. I’m so
grateful to have been able to work with 2 chefs and mentors, chef Jose Luis and
chef Adam, they welcomed me with open arms and have taken good care of me here
in New York. Thanks to ICC for all the support and care they have shown us
students; and for all of our chefs you were all amazing. I got to spend my 21st
birthday here in NYC, travel to Los Angeles, go to Austin, meet really cool and
awesome chefs, try and explore different foods and cuisines , and have made
relationships that I will cherish forever.

Another HUGE thank you to
some one who has been like a big sister to me, teaching me, laughing, fighting,
sweating, and cooking together; Yan Torres, we will always be family. She has
made me better and we really work well together and we compliment each other.
The biggest THANK YOU to our amazing special chef Aarón Sánchez, his passion
for not only his food and cooking, but his Latin roots and family has
challenged me to be like him. His team, Danielle and Kate, have been amazing!
Kate has been there for us and has been the glue that has kept us all together.

From the beginning to now, I
have seen a great change in myself and I can’t wait to see what what the future
has in store for me. I hope I can help other people pursue their dreams and
turn them into a reality like the Aaron Sanchez Scholarship Fund has done for
me. Again thank you for everything!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.