Two ninth-grade students who are members of NYU Lutheran Family Health Centers Project Reach Youth (PRY) Track program at the John Jay High School Campus came out top winners on March 12 in the 2016 Recipe Rescue cooking competition hosted by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Taking first place in the final round for high school students was Evelyn Corona Ramirez, 14, and in fourth place was Cheyenne Washington, 15.
The PRY Track students competed for two hours against two other high school students to prepare and cook a healthy recipe makeover. Their teacher, Kenneth Williams, watched on the sidelines cheering them on. “Seeing them come from learning the basics of cooking to taking part in their first competition makes me truly proud for them,” said Williams. DYCD partners with NYC’s cultural, civic, and recreational institutions to provide experiences like Recipe Rescue for young people to learn, explore, and display their talents.
Ms. Ramirez prepared a Mexican dish known as, “Pastel de Tres Leches” (or Three Milk Cake). “This dish is normally prepared for special occasions, like birthdays and holidays and this day was special to me so I decided to go for it,” she said. Fourth place winner, Ms. Washington, was thankful to be part of the competition. “I am really happy to be involved, it was fun and exciting!” she said.
For more than 14 years, NYU Lutheran Family Health Centers’ PRY Track program has been providing afterschool academic enrichment activities such as dance and fitness sessions, SAT prep courses, and cooking classes, including drop-out prevention services to students at the John Jay High School Campus. “PRY Track is a fantastic opportunity for students,” said Sarah Russ, PRY Track program coordinator. “The program helps them develop interactive skills and build their confidence.”
Ms. Ramirez was awarded a trophy and Ms. Washington received a medal of honor. “I don’t know what the next step will be for me,” Ms. Ramirez said, “but I will definitely continue cooking.”