The Scoop! – Spring 2018

Roberti Culinary Pathway Graduation

We proudly congratulate our first two graduating classes of the newly-launched Roberti Culinary Pathway (RCP)! 75% of our graduated students are already hired in food service.

The inaugural class began January 8 and graduated March 9

May 11, we celebrated our second class graduation

The nine-week classes were packed full of professional instruction, productive field trips, diverse guest speakers, and many opportunities to give back. The carefully planned curriculum included everything from food preparation to sanitation to learning how to prepare gourmet meals like spinach gruyere quiche, beef brisket shepherd’s pie, chicken cacciatore, and smoked turkey macaroni salad—just name a few! Of course, in true RCH spirit, these meals were donated back to the community.

Guest speakers from a number of active restaurants and establishments added depth to the curriculum. Students spent a day in the kitchen with Chef Jay Lovell of Jay Lovell’s restaurant in Highwood; Vade Sankar, owner of Be Market in Lake Bluff; Linda and Alex Meyer of Veganosity; Mike Forcier and Josh Bernicchi of US Foods. Professional employment consultants Katie Michalak and Jan Victor provided strategies on how to get ready for the interview, present yourself to a potential employer, and finally land the job! Students even got to role-play and practice their newly learned interview skills in real time.

Throughout the program, students not only prepared for a career in the food/culinary industry, but also forged meaningful relationships with each other, received long-lasting mentorships, and became empowered with the skills to take a strong hold of their future. We are confident that with these gifts, our graduates will achieve what they once thought improbable.

We wish them the best in their endeavors!

Annual Community Clean-Up

Our Annual Community Clean-Up event was a success! Under beautiful weather, everyone came together to clean and weed our gardens at the Roberti Culinary Pathway, the Holy Family soup kitchen, and the Roberti Community House in preparation of a bountiful season.

After hours of toiling away, we gathered for a scrumptious meal prepared by our dedicated Wednesday morning RCH cooking community members and students from the Roberti Community Pathway. The feast included a wide array of Mexican specialties complemented by some American favorites, and was eaten outdoors, surrounded by our day’s work. We all came away from this day well nourished.

The Roberti Community House extends special thanks to Uline and DK Organics for donating supplies that will benefit our gardening programs throughout the season.

Youth Sewing Teaches More Than Stitching

Jan, one of the Youth Sewing volunteers, with a student and his new scarf

Every Tuesday, while students wait outside the door of the Roberti Community House for afterschool programs to start, Jan and Mary Kay are inside, quickly preparing sewing stations used in the Youth Sewing program. The red sewing folder is filled with 100+ projects students have completed under the supervision of volunteers like Jan, Mary Kay, Marie, and others throughout the 2017-2018 school year. The project portfolio includes pillows, pillow cases, scarves, bags, and more.

While students learn the practicality of knowing how to sew (one of our students was able to fix his backpack that had a ripped strap), they also absorb much more than that. The sewing room is quiet, calm, and filled with concentration. The environment gives students a chance to be fully engaged, without excess stimulation or distraction.

For some students, the Youth Sewing program provides a much-needed sense of pride and accomplishment. When they finish projects, they parade around the house with their creations.

For others, the Youth Sewing program is a much-needed escape from a rough day. As they work closely with our sewing volunteers, students’ only concerns become which fabric to pick out for a pillow, or whether their stitching is straight.

While we can quantify the number of projects students have completed, we cannot begin to measure the benefits Youth Sewing brings to the kids.

Volunteer Graduates

On behalf of all of us at the Roberti Community House, we would like to extend congratulations to all of our volunteers graduating from 8th grade, high school, internships, and college. We are so thankful to have such great volunteers/interns who are surely going to do great things in the years to come. We have been proud to have you as a part of our progam.

RCH Gives Back

Food preparation for the Most Blessed Trinity Easter Retreat

In March, we were asked if we could prepare a day of meals for the three-day retreat hosted by Most Blessed Trinity. They hosted over 250 students for 3 days, and our RCH community worked to plan, prepare, and assemble a variety of dishes for the students. Dishes included ceviche, chicken tinga, salad, rice, beans, pasta salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, and rice pudding. Everyone worked hard to come together and prepare the meals, but did so successfully to rave reviews from students who attended the retreat.

RCP Students Give Back

As of January 8, 3,500 meals have gone to those in need. Recipients include House of Peace, Staben House, P.A.D.S., Holy Family Church soup kitchen, the Waukegan Police Department, and even our very own RHC afterschool program.

Summer Programs

With the end of spring coming soon, our summer programs will be taking off shortly. Join us this summer for some of our youth programs!

Community Garden

While families visit the Holy Family soup kitchen, we provide a fun distraction for the kids out in the community garden. We help engage them in planting and caring for the garden, provide crafts, and offer samples of foods from the gardens. Tuesdays 10-12, June 5 – August 14.

Junior Chefs (Boys and Girls Ages 6-8)

Students will prepare a different food item (or recipe) each week that they will have for lunch that day. Volunteers needed for food prep, student assistance, and clean-up. Thursdays 12-1, June 19 – August 1.

Master Chefs (Boys and Girls Ages 9+)

Students will prepare a different food item (or recipe) each week that they will have for lunch that day. Volunteers needed for food prep, student assistance, and clean-up. Thursdays 12-2, June 21 – August 2.

Summer Reading & Math

Help lead community kids of all ages in activities and crafts related to various reading themes and math levels. Tuesdays & Thursdays 1-3, June 19 – August 9.

Please contact or leave a message at (224) 209-3717.

Save the Date

Come see all the hard work our students have put in over the past 8 weeks. The students look forward to sharing their new knowledge of gardening, nutrition, and teamwork with you.

August 1, 11:30-1:30
Roberti Community House
919 8th St. Waukegan, IL 60085
(224) 209-3717

Wish List

Our needs are many and your assistance is always appreciated. Our wish list includes:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Vitamix industrial-sized blender
  • Outdoor shed (approx. 10′ × 12′)
  • Disposable half and full-size pans with lids
  • Cordless microphone
  • Lawnmower
  • Weedwhacker/trimmer
  • iPad

Some of the above culinary products are available through Federal Supply USA.

We appreciate your continued interest and support! Please consider donatingThank you!

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Contact Us

The Roberti Community House 
919 8th Street
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
Phone: (224)-209-3717

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