On December 19th, 2014, I graduated from the Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville with an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts. I can hardly express the journey I had at this school. Fearful at first, also difficult, accompanied by frustration, worry, and a great deal of stress, but a lot of pride too, in all that I accomplished. I worked extremely hard and consistently maintained a 4.0 GPA from the very beginning of my journey. It was an amazing experience and graduating has been a bittersweet feeling and I will greatly miss all of the friends I made with both students and chefs.
Because of my accomplishments through the last two years, I have been recommended and accepted for an externship in Orvieto, Italy with Chef Lorenzo Polegri. This externship will begin on March 1st and end on June 1st. I can hardly believe that with only eight slots available for students around the world, I was offered one of them. The knowledge and experience I will gain from this three month externship will be priceless. This will be a life-changing experience for me- emotionally, physically, and spiritually. What it will do for my resume and future is also priceless.
Unfortunately, I do not get paid during my externship. I need to raise money to assist with room and board, my airline ticket, paying bills while I am gone, and any additonal expenditures. This is why I am reaching out for help.
I must admit that I find it difficult to ask for help, but it is not uncommon in situations like this to do so. I am humbly asking for your donation no matter how small. It will be greatly appreciated and warm my heart to know that people care enough to help me achieve this dream. If you are unable to help, that's ok too. I understand completely. I will keep everyone, donation or not, updated through my facebook page as I travel this new path.
My promise to everyone is to be the best I can be. To anyone who donates: someday when our paths cross, I promise to cook you an authentic Italian meal. Also, I promise to pay it forward someday when I am a successful chef by helping an aspiring chef achieve their dreams in the culinary world too.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and for any assistance you can offer. God Bless!
Grazie du cuore (Sincerest thanks of the heart)
Chef Elizabeth Wilbur