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Fairfax County students with disabilities learn cooking skills through unique program

WJLA – Washington D.C. 9/30/2022 Caroline Patrickis
© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

A program run by Fairfax County Public Schools called the Davis Career Center is helping students with disabilities master important life skills.

On Friday, at the culinary program, students showed off their cooking skills in the kitchen.

El Ghoushbeigui, 20, is in her second year of the program.

“Cooking is not that easy," Ghoushbeigui said. "We have to follow instructions, recipes and we better be careful of other things too."

© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

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She and her classmates at the Davis Career Center whipped up a delicious fall recipe –-- apple crisps.

“Apples with sugar and cinnamon,” one student said.

From start to finish,  the group of students aged 18 to 22 years old picked the local apples and prepared the dessert for baking before they were delivered that afternoon.

“Yay, I did it," one culinary student shouted.

Ben Pigott, 19, is in his first year of the program. 

“I like culinary because I do dishes and cut fruits and veggies," Pigott said.

© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

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The unique program helps students with disabilities learn real-life skills which will transfer into the workforce after high school.

“It's nice for all of our students to see the product from start to finish and know that they were part of the entire process,” Culinary Teacher, Lauren Forshay said.

As the pies are then sold to the community, the career center is more than culinary skills, it’s life lessons they will hold onto forever.

“Every year they get a new work site so they get to build work skills, work on their resume so when they graduate they are ready to look for jobs and support programs and things like that,” explained Forshay.

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