LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Adults with developmental disabilities face many challenges, and one of those is finding a job. A new program at Pulaski Tech's Culinary Institute is working to change that.
Culinary student Quentin is in his first year at Pulaski Tech. He was born with a developmental disability, and Quentin said he's learning the ropes of the restaurant industry.
"You have to sanitize back and forth like that with the towel. Same thing with soap. You have to go back and forth with it," Quentin said as he showed THV 11 around the kitchen.
Quentin isn't letting his disability hold him back. He said a new program created at Pulaski Tech's Culinary Institute is giving him the chance to achieve his dream job.
"What I hope to do is I want to follow in my dad's footsteps. He was a chef, and I want to take his footsteps," he hoped.
He grew up with his father in the restaurant industry, and he said he's excited to be a part of a two year program that will allow him to enter the workforce himself.
"I've learned when you're in with chef cooking you stand like this, so they can get by," he added.
3D Program Director Linda Ducrot said everyone deserves a chance at achieving their dreams.
"We believe that every person comes to this life with gifts to give the world, and each person should have the opportunity to unfold and utilize those talents and express them," she said. "We don't know of a program in this area that is like this."
Ducrot added that Pulaski Tech wanted to create a program that addressed this population. The program is in its first year and has four students.
Todd Gold, dean of the Culinary Institute at Pulaski Tech, said students first learn sanitation and work alongside the other culinary students in the classroom.
"I think the other students will learn how to interact with all different walks of life including people who have learning differences," he said.
The program is hands-on, and Quentin said it's giving students the independence to integrate into the workforce.
"I'm having fun," he chimed in. "This has been the best decision I've made."
The program hopes to expand to allow for more students in the future.