The Rachael Ray Foundation Selects 27 High Schools to Receive ProStart Grow Grants

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Twenty-seven high schools from across the country will receive special funding to upgrade and expand…

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Twenty-seven high schools from across the country will receive special funding to upgrade and expand their ProStart programs thanks to $135,000 in grants from The Rachael Ray Foundation (RRF).

Through The Rachael Ray Foundation ProStart Grow Grants, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will provide 27 grants to ProStart schools that have demonstrated a strong need to engage and educate high school students interested in exploring restaurant and foodservice jobs and careers.

ProStart, a two-year career and technical education program focused on culinary arts and restaurant management, is offered in 1,700 schools across the country and currently enrolls 130,000 students. This school year, ProStart educators have largely adapted to the COVID19 restrictions with a mix of virtual and in-person learning, posing challenges for students to learn the hands-on skills the program often requires. Funding from the RRF ProStart Grow Grants will enable schools to upgrade or purchase new resources, build up their classrooms in preparation for return to in-person learning, and support teachers with whatever they need to help their students learn career-building skills. 

Over the past 15 years, more than 260 scholarships have been provided by Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! organization and the Rachael Ray Foundation, totaling $1.8M in support to NRAEF scholarships and ProStart.

«ProStart educators and students have persevered through this difficult year and are continuing to pursue their passions for restaurants and foodservice against all odds» said Rachael Ray, award-winning television personality and philanthropist. «The Rachael Ray Foundation is proud to support their dreams to become future chefs and restaurateurs and provide them with the resources they need to be successful in their classrooms. We can’t wait to see what these students will accomplish.»

«The Rachael Ray Foundation is one of our most charitable partners, and with their support we are thrilled to offer these ProStart Grow Grants to 27 deserving schools,» said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. «This grant funding will ensure that students interested in restaurant and hospitality careers are getting the resources and tools they need to succeed in their classrooms and advance their futures as schools reopen and the restaurant industry continues to rebuild.»

Winning schools awarded a ProStart Grow Grant were required to demonstrate how the program is positively impacting their students and the community. Grants are valued at $5,000 per school.

Winning schools include:

Blue Hills Regional Technical School

Canton, MA

Heartland Career Center

Wabash, IN

Northwest High School

Grand Island, NE

Summit High School

Frisco, CO

Chipley High School

Chipley, FL

Howard High School of Technology

Wilmington, DE

Pueblo East High School

Pueblo, CO

Taos High School

Taos, NM

Chugiak High School

Chugiak, AK

Kearny High School

Kearny, NJ

Pulaski County High School

Dublin, VA

Tiyan High School

Barrigada, Guam

Essex County School of Technology

Bloomfield, NJ

Lakeview Jr/Sr High School

Campti, LA

Ridgefield Park Jr/Sr High School

Ridgefield Park, NJ

Warrensville Heights High School

Warrensville Heights, OH

Greater Southern Tier BOCES

Elmira, NY

Lancaster High School

Lancaster, TX

Simon Sanchez High School

Yigo, Guam

Warsaw Community Schools

Warsaw, IN

Greene County CTC

Waynesburg, PA

Moody High School

Moody, AL

Southwest Career & Technical Education Center

Gouverneur, NY

Woodland Park High School

Woodland Park, CO

Harrisburg High School

Harrisburg, SD

Morris County Vocational School District

Denville, NJ

St. Georges Technical High School

Middletown, DE

The winners will be able to use their funds from the Rachael Ray Foundation starting this year. To stay connected to how winners use their Grow Grants, follow the NRAEF’s ProStart channels on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn and use the hashtag #ProStartGrowGrant.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide opportunity youth and previously incarcerated individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit

About The Rachael Ray Foundation

The Rachael Ray Foundation™ (RRF) is a private foundation that is fully funded by the proceeds from the sale of Rachael Ray™ Nutrish®. RRF was launched by Rachael in 2016 to better support the causes she cares for most such as helping animals in need. Additionally, RRF works with organizations that support the mission of Yum-o!, Rachael’s 501c3, in order to bolster and amplify their efforts through additional funding. Yum-o! empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. It also teaches families to cook, feeds hungry kids, and funds cooking education, among other initiatives.

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SOURCE National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation