Detroit Food Academy Goes Virtual!

Detroit Food Academy, a non-profit that teaches youth about food, cooking, and leadership, will host their after school and Advanced Leadership programs virtually this school year. Through a series of culinary-based leadership programs, DFA inspires countless young Detroiters to become well-rounded leaders through their exploration in food justice, nutrition, business, and entrepreneurship. Students are even given the opportunity to create their own triple-bottom line food business from the ground up. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the program continues to grow each year. During the 2019-2020 school year alone, DFA supported over 1200 students both in the classroom and virtually. How amazing is that!

This summer, DFA partnered with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) to provide meaningful work experience and training to Detroit youth to further their growth and confidence needed to build their careers. Although the pandemic affected their ability to provide in-person training, DFA continued to engage the youth through a virtual 5-week paid summer work experience. As Tiffany Brown, the DFA Program Director stated, “COVID-19 has changed everything around us. What has not changed is our commitment to providing quality summer experiences for youth in the City of Detroit.” While completing online work-readiness training, students could earn up to $1000. 

Each week, students also engaged with local community leaders and activists in discussions around farming, grocery stories, careers in food, and food justice. Senator Stephanie Chang even joined one of their virtual sessions to explain some of the legislation that she’s working on to prevent water injustices right here in Michigan. And on top of all of that, the students still cooked! Each week, DFA would safely deliver groceries to a small group of students so they could practice their culinary skills by preparing a meal at home. The meals ranged from vegetable stir fry to chicken & spinach dumplings with a red pepper garlic sauce. Yum!

The virtual learning experience certainly had its challenges, but it also provided a new opportunity to engage the youth and their families in a way like never before. This upcoming school year, DFA will be able to support middle and high school students in the city of Detroit by delivering culinary, leadership, and entrepreneurship programming right to their kitchen. So if you know any Detroit youth interested in developing their culinary skills, making new friends, and learning about the world of food, be sure to get them signed up for DFA’s 2020 virtual program. 

If interested in joining the Detroit Food Academy’s 2020 virtual program, send an email to [email protected]

Learn more about the academy on their website 

Follow them on social media!
FB: Detroit Food Academy
IG: @detroitfoodacademy

Ederique Goudia is the Co-Owner of Gabriel Hall, a Program Associate with FoodLab Detroit, and an Instructor with the Detroit Food Academy.