Disability Mentoring Day

By Davenie Deutsch, The Arc of the Bay

To bring awareness to our community and give individuals with disabilities the opportunity to explore different career paths, The Arc of the Bay celebrated Disability Mentoring Day with an event on October 21.

The Arc of the Bay coordinated with several businesses to keep attendees safe by ensuring they could practice social distancing and wear proper PPE. Our warmest appreciation goes to Centennial Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Jimmy Johns, Los Antojitos Mexican Restaurant, Publix, Red Lobster, Regions Bank, and Taziki’s Mediterranean CafĂ© for their superior mentoring!

A total of 15 individuals with disabilities were able to participate as we kept the number down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Los Antojitos Mexican Restaurant has a large kitchen with the ability to safely mentor seven of our culinary students. A luncheon was held at The Arc of the Bay’s Culinary Institute location. At the luncheon, individuals with disabilities and businesses shared their experiences and culinary delights! Although this year's Disability Mentoring Day event had to be carefully planned and scaled down, it was an awesome experience for all involved. 

One of the individuals who attended this year’s event was Justin "Casey" Coleman, an exceptionally bright and hardworking student of The Arc of the Bay Culinary Institute. During his time at Los Antojitos for Disability Mentoring Day, he was able to gain the experience of working in a true restaurant kitchen. He stocked coolers, made salads, dressings, and was even able to spend time on the hot line. He is meticulous and a perfectionist with all the work he does and is excited and eager to get out into the community and work. He will become an exceptional employee and an important member of the team in any restaurant!

Another champion at Arc of the Bay Culinary Institute, Ryan Robertson is an ambitious and self-motivated student. He is always willing to help and is tack-sharp! He worked hard during Disability Mentoring Day at Los Antojitos, assisting in salad prep and cooler stocking and rotation. He got a true taste of working in a fully operational commercial kitchen and is excited to graduate and start working in the industry. Ryan has a great, hard-working attitude and will be a wonderful addition to any restaurant team!  

Justin ”Casey“ Coleman

Ryan Robertson