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Graduating class with Kapiʻolani CC Chef Instructor Lee Shinsato

Plated food

Four women from the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) earned Kapiʻolani Community College culinary arts certificates. The women held a special graduation luncheon for staff at the WCCC, featuring some of the 5-star quality cuisine they learned to create.

Beyond kitchen skills, the culinary arts program at WCCC aims to educate participants in professionalism, commitment and responsibility as well as skills that accompany a rigorous college course, including time management, study habits and teamwork. Inmates who don’t complete the final stage of certification before they leave can choose to continue their culinary training at Kapiʻolani CC.

The women worked their way up to the intermediate level class from three required beginner classes. They also earn 14 credits that will appear in their University of Hawaiʻi transcripts.

“This culinary certificate that they received today will help the students with vocational opportunities once they return to the community,” said Roger Tansley, WCCC acting education supervisor. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to share the common cause in helping those less fortunate than ourselves, to work towards a better life in a safe and secure environment.”

Class representative Jessica Hinebaugh said the program helped her learn respect and confidence.

“I learned so much more than culinary skills when I came into this class because it’s not really about the culinary skills, it’s about the kind of person that you would become later on in life,” she said. “It was about maturing and being more connected with people. It teaches you that you don’t really have to do anything alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to put all your responsibility on someone else. It’s a give and take kind of thing, and that’s not just in cooking, that’s in life.”

See more images at the Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety Facebook.

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