SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - It’s cooking for a cause for a group of young people from Philadelphia and the goal? A trip to Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian.
"It's 105 degrees in here, so we're going to make it short and sweet today," said Chef Mike, heading a culinary class for youth at Nomo South, on South Broad Street in South Philadelphia. "I got a chicken breast and a little bit of oil," Chef Mike said to a group of young people learning to make chicken fajitas. 17-year-old Khalil Carr is a youth in training.
"How to prepare a meal and eat healthy," said Khalil. But, the program also helps keep them out of the way of gun violence. "Before I found this program, I was getting in trouble a lot."
In fact, they're putting what they're learning to use for a fundraiser that will help cover a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.
"It's a good way to get us out of the streets. It's nothing really here and they want to take us on trips, so why not use it?" Khalil added.
Dawan Williams oversees the class. He’s the Vice President of Restorative Justice for the NOMO Foundation which stands for New Options More Opportunities. "It's been hard. Funding has always been the elephant in the room with local non-profits, trips and things like that."
Williams who also says the students came up with the fundraiser idea to prepare three different meals to sell for $10 each with the goal of earning the money for the trip.
"To have youth sit down on their own and put together and formulate a business plan and say this is what we're going to do, I have no choice but to support them," Williams explained.
Khalil says it's fun and exciting. "See something different because a lot of people don't get an opportunity to see something different in the world because they’re either getting killed or in jail," he said.
The fundraiser happens on Monday, but pre-orders are being accepted through Sunday. Anyone wanting to order a meal or help the group in their D.C. trip can get more information, here, or call (610) 910-1332.