Dreams Really Do Come True

I am honored to share a bit of my story with you.
When I was a little boy I would watch my grandfather in the kitchen cooking meatballs and/or cheesecake. He would always say, "A kitchen is not a real kitchen without the smell of garlic". To this day I still believe this. My grandfather was a master at most things however, bearing witness to his creation process in the kitchen left an imprint on my heart and planted a seed deep within me. As I grew up and attended high school I found out our school had a three-year cooking program, which I immediately signed up for. The joy I felt during those class hours was unparalleled to any other time in my daily life. Unfortunately, on a whole I was not one with high self esteem and never felt very smart. However, being in the kitchen always gave me the confidence to succeed. It was the only time I ever really felt like I was home within myself. I also could feel that closeness of being with my grandpa. Due to poor grades and overall lack of sense of self I dropped out of high school at the end of my last year. I found work in various kitchens just to get by. I eventual went back for my GED and enrolled in the culinary program at the local community college. I was halfway through the first semester when my girlfriend at the time got pregnant. I needed to drop out at find fulltime work. Again finding work in kitchens was easy. Sadly to say nine months later our daughter passed away the day she was born. Soon after my then girlfriend became my wife and we began to build a life together which gave way to the birth of our son. I remained in the food industry in various capacities however; it all became work for me. I had a family I needed to help support and somewhere along the line my passion died or at least was buried. Years later I found myself divorced and co-parenting a child. I was really depressed. I needed to make some changes and find meaningful work. I went back to school and got three degrees including a Masters in Social Work. I thought once again I had finally found my way "home". I've been working in the social work field for the past sixteen years. I worked with HIV/AIDS patients, the chemically addicted, the mentally ill, child abusers, victims of sexual assault, end of life patients, the elderly, and many other disenfranchised populations. Little by little that once so bight light became dim again. I became very very tired. This past year has been one of the roughest. My stepmother of 40 years was diagnosed with and eventually died from brain cancer. I was fortunate enough to help my dad along with an army of supporters ease her into her final transition. Since then I have been struggling to find my own life purpose. I had sought out a tremendous amount of guidance looking for an answer. Each time it was suggested I look into my heart to find my passion. The challenge was my heart was too wounded. In recent months as my healing continued I found the answer to my question. I belong in the kitchen, this is where I feel most at "home". My ego immediately kicked in and tried to shut this idea down with reality testing me. How on earth could I go back to school at age 45 to start all over? What could I make minimum wage? How would I survive? Am I just crazy? These questions plagued me until I surrendered and offered my guidance back to the universe. I eventually found the courage to call various culinary schools in NYC and took a few tours. The more I showed up for myself the more excited I became. I found out it is possible to go home. With the assistance of my family I have been able to secure financing to attend the Natural Gourmet Institute. I am hoping to raise money from this page to help offset my living expenses while I'm in school fulltime for the next six months. I turn to you, my community, to ask for your support. This is not an easy task to ask for assistance however; I shall step aside from my ego once again and simply offer you an invitation to support me. ANY amount is greatly appreciated! If you cannot support me financially I welcome ANY level of prayers or good thoughts to support me taking this gigantic leap of faith. THANK YOU for taking the time to read part of my story. Blessings to you ALL! From my heart to yours, Johnathan

PS: Anyone who makes any donation will receive an exclusive invite to my self catered graduation party

PPS: If you are interested in checking out the culinary program I will be attending please visit www.naturalgourmetinstitute.com

Donations

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  • Dina Perriello 
    • $50 
    • 79 mos
  • Gertrude Rapunzel 
    • $25 
    • 80 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 80 mos
  • Donna Lee 
    • $50 
    • 81 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 81 mos
See all

Organizer

Johnathan Hornig 
Organizer
Brewster, NY
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