Dream Dinners Franchisees Provide Job Experience to Those with Disabilities
Here at Dream Dinners, giving back to the community is an integral part of being a Dream Dinners franchisee. Our main mission at Dream Dinners is to better our nation’s children, and we hope to do so by teaching them what’s important by giving back to others.
With April being National Autism Awareness Month and as part of a national effort to give back to our communities, Dream Dinners franchisees Nicole Marefka and Sally Grant decided to spread awareness about Autism by showing that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can live life of quality and purpose. Their Dream Dinners franchise has partnered with ARC Broward, a nationally accredited, private, non-for-profit organization that provides services to more than 1,200 children and adults with disabilities and other life challenges.
Through this partnership, Dream Dinners of Sunrise has partnered specifically with the ARC Broward Culinary Institute to create an internship that provides those with disabilities real-life job training and employment opportunities. During these classes, Dream Dinners franchisees interact with selected participants to teach them about health, nutrition, meal preparation, customer service and more while providing real-life work experience. For Grant, this partnership has a special place in her heart.
“Our partnership with ARC Broward truly hits home as I have a nephew who is living with Autism,” Grant said. “What we provide is a nurturing environment where we can help build individuals like my nephew’s confidence and skills in a non-threatening and rewarding atmosphere.”
Through this partnership, Dream Dinners of Sunrise hosts week-long internships where students from the culinary institute work alongside staff members to help prep and assemble meals as well as engage with and assist Dream Dinners customers throughout their sessions. Since their partnership began just one year ago, Dream Dinners of Sunrise has hosted seven interns and has hired two students as part-time employees from the ARC Broward Culinary Institute.
“It has been extremely rewarding for me personally to be able to help these young people gain real world experience,” Marefka said. “Most the time we have been their first job experience altogether and I remind my staff what a privilege it is to be a mentor and to help shape their lives, both professionally and personally.”
To learn more about how you can become a Dream Dinners franchisee and give back to your community, visit the Dream Dinners franchise information page today.