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Non Profit Teaches Refugees To Cook And Live Their American Dream

BROOKLYN — Claudine came to America as a refugee, and after her enrollment at Emma’s Torch, she now has dreams to open her first restaurant.

Located in Brooklyn, Emma’s Torch is a non profit social enterprise that offers culinary training and job placement services to refugees and survivors of human trafficking.

“We run a little cafe, where students train and gain necessary skills to access the job market,” founder Kerry Brodie said in interview on Brad Show Live.

By working closely with refugee resettlement agencies and homeless shelters, the non profit enrolls two students during a paid eight week period.

“Our students come from all over the world,” Brodie said. “We have refugees who are fleeing large scale conflicts, asylees fleeing because of who they are and who they love. And we have people who are brought here against their will, trafficked and brought here as slaves.”

“But when they walk in the door, they no longer are any of those categories, they are chefs,” Brodie highlighted.

During the eight week course, New York City chefs train participants with culinary skills necessary to the industry.

In addition to restaurant training, the non profit instructs english classes and interview preparation.

“This program gave me a lot of experience,” Emma’s Torch student Claudine said in an interview with Brad Show Live. Noting that she learned how to cook, Claudine said her kids and family in West Africa “are very proud.”

To watch more of how Emma’s Torch changes lives, watch the full interview below.

To view more American Dream segments on Brad Show Live, tune in Monday through Friday from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.