Chef Aarón Sánchez Creates a Legacy with His Impact Fund [Video]

Chef Aarón Sánchez Creates a Legacy with His Impact Fund for Hispanic business

Uplifting the lives of Latino Youth through the Food industry

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Hispanic celebrity, Chef Aarón Sánchez to talk about his career trajectory and the business of the food industry. One of the most important things that surfaced was his creation of the Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund, which invests in Latino youth who are serious about pursuing a career in the food industry.

I was introduced to the Director of the Impact Fund, Jennifer Killian and we discussed in depth how and why the fund was created and some of the initiatives they’re taking on.

The fund, created in 2016 with Chef Aarón’s initial idea of making one deserving Latino student’s restaurant dreams come true by supporting further education and mentorship, was originally called the Scholarship Fund and became something bigger than just helping one Latino student. The fund went on to support more young talented individuals looking to pursue their culinary dreams. In 2022, when they merged with the  Emeril Lagasse Foundation, they knew they would continue to invest in the original goal of awarding scholarships, but they also knew they could challenge themselves to help more Latino students across the country. With their motto, “uplift the lives of Latino youth through food” – they decided to rebrand as themselves as the Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund. New initiatives outside of the kitchen were added such as food access and nutrition education.

In my interview with Jennifer, we talk about the scholarship and its wraparound services such as housing solutions, transportation, utilities, a grocery stipend, and mentorship support.

The scholarship program is an accelerated 6 to 8 month education at the Institute of Culinary Education at the New York campus. Follow up career guidance offers help in writing a resumé, applying for a job, providing access to Chef Aarón, and maximizing their time in NYC. The program also requires an externship as a graduation requirement.

The scholarship also brings the students to New Orleans for 2 to 3 days where Chef Aarón has his restaurant, Johnny Sánchez. It’s a trip designed for a quick immersion in the hospitality business, the local culture and the foods native to the area.

The scholarship recognizes and supports students’ goals of careers in the food industry that are adjacent to the restaurant business such as food stylist or recipe creator.

Chef Aarón’s goal is to see Hispanics leading as professionals in the industry. This is the legacy he hopes to leave in the kitchen and beyond.

Jennifer says that anyone can be a philanthropist whether it’s the Impact Fund or something in your community. It just needs to be meaningful to you personally. It can be a financial donation or volunteering supplies or services.

For more information, you can go to their website, Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund and sign up for their newsletter. They can also be found on social media at the same name.

Watch our full interview here and learn more about the Impact Fund.

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