CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – It's a new main course for students interested in the fine dining or food and beverage industry. "Teach the Need" is program by Charleston area restaurants to train high school students and put them to work. Students say they're learning a lot working with a food and beverage professional.
"They've talked to me about being professional. They've told me a lot about the restaurant business, how to greet people, how to set up a table," Stall High School student Branden Nixon said.
Students even learn to tie a tie.
Charleston philanthropists Mickey Bakst and Michael Miller started "Teach the Need." They say they want to ensure that the young adults are able to secure and keep jobs in the food and beverage industry and earn money as they finish high school.
"We are going to train kids to get good paying, successful jobs, that will enable them opportunities that they might never have had before," Bakst said.
After these students gain the skills to work in fine dining establishments, they then get the chance to work at a local restaurant. Right now the program is searching for restaurants to give these students jobs.
Whether the students work in restaurants or not in the future, they say the program teaches lessons that go beyond the food and beverage industry.
"I've learned that you have to be professional about everything that you do and you have to be polite," Stall High School student Ashiya Young said. "You've got to dream big and when you dream big and you go for it, it can happen!"
Right now four area restaurants send professionals to work with students at Garrett Academy, Stall, Burke, and North Charleston High Schools.
There are plans to expand "Teach the Need" to all the high schools in Charleston County. The training course lasts for six weeks. The first group of 56 students will graduate from the program by mid-December.