Yves Chambaz – Pay It Forward

by Yves Chambaz, December 19, 2017

I received my very first post-secondary award 4 years ago, while pursuing an Associate degree in Culinary Arts.  I was 30 years old when I started, with enough savings to cover my first semester, and with basically no source of income on the horizon since I was on a student visa.  I treasure my wife for her support in this endeavor, and the conviction that somehow, we would get through it.  It was my first Chef Instructor who brought the subject of scholarships to my attention.  He encouraged me to apply, and supported me writing a recommendation letter for the application.  I will never fail to recall that first time I applied.

After forgetting the date when the results of the scholarship were going to be announced, I was already finding my ways into working on campus, and making the connections through volunteering events with Chefs to arrange for stages and make my mark in the city.  Suddenly I received the awesome news that I had been awarded as a recipient for two of my scholarship applications.  That was an unforgettable moment of relief and happiness all at once.

I now work as a Chef Instructor with high school kids from the Chicago area at Gallery 37 in the Loop.  There I share my story, my experience, my struggles, and my fights won, with my students.  I also encourage and coach them to participate in cooking competitions where they can receive scholarship awards.  It is such a great aid to be able to have some peace of mind when the prospect of going to school or not is on the chopping block.

Now I am pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Hospitality Management.  The purpose of this study is to increase my knowledge in the industry and broaden my opportunities.  But also, to have new material to teach to those who will one day fill out the workforce pipeline of the hospitality industry.  Thanks to the support of Kendall College Trust, I am able to continue my education with less economic worries.  Without efforts like yours, others like me would not be able to fulfill their professional dreams.

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