[Newark, NJ] On Thursday, November 2, the Newark Public Schools hosted a remarkable event at Newark Vocational High School. The special occasion featured celebrity Chef Lyana S. Blount, the accomplished Chef/Founder/CEO of Black Rican Vegan, and it exceeded all expectations. The event included a lecture for students, an interactive Q&A session, a book signing, and a captivating cooking demonstration for the culinary and hospitality program students.
Chef Lyana, a culinary sensation originally from the Bronx, New York, took Newark Vocational High School students on a culinary journey, introducing them to the world of plant-based comfort food. Chef Lyana, who is proud of her African-American and Puerto Rican heritage, turned her hobby into a successful business that has won the hearts and taste buds of many celebrities and people across the globe.
The event highlighted a fundamental element of the student experience at Newark Vocational High School, emphasizing the importance of work-based learning for aspiring “completers” in the culinary program. For students in the culinary arts program, the event served as a valuable career exploration experience. Chef Lyana's guidance and expertise offered them an unparalleled introduction to entrepreneurship in the culinary field.
Through this innovative event, Seniors were provided with a unique opportunity to gain valuable experience through a work-based learning program where they had the privilege to participate in a cooking demonstration utilizing their state-of-the-art kitchen. The hands-on approach is designed to equip Newark Vocational High School students with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in their future careers, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Superintendent León expressed his enthusiastic support for this collaboration, stating, "Newark Vocational High School remains steadfast in its commitment to providing our students with unique learning experiences that prepare them for real-world success. Black Rican Vegan Chef Lyana’s contribution exemplifies our dedication to incorporating real-world experiences into our school, underlining our commitment to broadening our students' horizons.”
Board President Hasani Council added, "The Newark Board of Education is dedicated to creating experiences for students to learn from experts in various fields. The collaboration with Chef Lyana is a prime illustration of how such experiences have a life-changing impact on students' lives."
Principal DeSantis of Newark Vocational High School also conveyed her enthusiasm, noting, "We were delighted to welcome Chef Lyana of Black Rican Vegan to our school. Her culinary expertise, knowledge, and inspiring stories were a tremendous inspiration for our students, providing them with a unique opportunity to learn from a vegan chef and entrepreneur.”
Collaborations with inspiring individuals like Chef Lyana brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom, shaping the future of Newark Public School students to successfully compete on the global stage.
About Newark Public Schools
The Newark Public Schools is the largest school district in New Jersey and dates back to 1676. The District currently enrolls over 39,000 students in 63 schools. After more than two decades of state operation and returning to local control in 2018, the District has opened nine new schools under Superintendent León's leadership, with an additional portfolio of new options to be announced in the coming months and years. The Newark Board of Education serves as a beacon of educational excellence, dedicated to nurturing the potential of every student. With a commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and fostering a love for learning, the District continues to shape future generations and make a positive impact within the community.
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