“Every kid has a future. People come here to figure out what they’re born to do.”Jonathan Frederic
Providing Club teens the opportunity to work on the Blue CanTEEN food truck as they build skills in the culinary arts, restaurant management and entrepreneurship supports one of the Club’s big priorities: Workplace Readiness.
Meet Jonathan, 18, a recent high school graduate who has worked on the food truck since 2015. “Every kid has a future,” he says, standing inside the gleaming interior of the Blue CanTEEN. “People come here to figure out what they’re born to do.”
“Every kid was born to be successful,” he adds, a belief that the Boys & Girls Club has instilled in him.
Jonathan reports to the Nichols Campus kitchen after class and preps meals to serve the 500 Club members who eat dinner here each school night. At evening catering events during Naples’ high season, he takes orders, visits with customers, and serves innovative dishes like mahi fish tacos, ahi tuna nachos, and more. “The first things I had to learn was how to be efficient and how to be team player,” he says.
Shy and reserved when he first came to the Boys & Girls Club, Jonathan soon discovered he had a penchant for drawing, a gift for writing poetry, and a strong work ethic as a junior staffer. With a winning smile, he started making friends.
Out in the community, he’s learned to interact with people of all ages and from all backgrounds. “People ask questions. They want to know what your life is going to be. I’ve made a lot of connections,” he says.