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She never thought about teaching as a career because she didn’t think she had the patience, yet Brittany Sheridan has been teaching culinary and hospitality at a vocational school in Uganda for the past year and a half.
A 2010 Culinary Arts and Hospitality alumna from the Southern Adirondack Education Center (SAEC), Brittany stopped by Chef Charlie Jones’ Culinary Arts and Hospitality class to show the current culinary students what she’s been doing in Uganda. Plus, she wanted to thank the Key Club for their generous donation that was used to purchase an oven at the school where she works. Before Brittany left the class, the Key Club gave her a set of knives along with a second donation that matched the first to purchase more supplies for the school.
While at the culinary program at SAEC, Brittany was an active SkillsUSA participant. The Lake George High School Class of 2010 graduate continued her culinary education at Johnson and Wales. Following her college graduation, she worked at The Sagamore and Café Vero while substitute teaching for WSWHE BOCES.
Brittany pointed out that it was the substitute teaching that helped prepare her for her latest adventure that began when she went on a Mission Trip through a local church to the small villages in Uganda for three months and fell in love with the people. “They are very welcoming,” said Brittany.
She later returned to Uganda with an organization called Youth with a Mission to work at a Vocational Training School at Hopeland Base in Jinja, Uganda. It’s a vocational school for girls where tailoring, baking and cooking are taught.
Brittany explained that students pay to go to school in Uganda. There aren’t any taxes in Uganda and most can’t afford to go to school. The Vocational Training School offers another option. The 10-month vocational program that is divided into 8-week terms covers dining room service, hospitality, baking and catering, which is the Uganda term for cooking. Students will learn in the morning and then practice in the afternoon. Anything the students bake is sold and the profits go back to the school. The goal of the vocational school is to teach the girls a vocation and assist them in getting internships.
However, before Brittany could teach anything, she needed to learn how to cook on the wood-fired ovens and gas stoves that the Ugandians use. Electricity is at a premium and so is water. “There’s not enough water and the electricity goes out a lot. Most things that we take for granted, they don’t have,” Brittany pointed out.
She told the students about the cultural differences including how people buy their food and what they eat. Because there is no refrigeration, milk is bought the day it will be used.
Key Club representative at SAEC presents Brittany with a second donation to be used for supplies.
Brittany Sheridan shares her Uganda experience with culinary students.
Brittany also received a set of knives from the Key Club.
Brittany shows photos of her students to the culinary class.