The Catered Affair Partners with Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston: Ready to Work for Summer Internship
In partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston career readiness initiative, Ready to Work, The Catered Affair (TCA) congratulated three fellows for completing a summer hospitality internship under the TCA flagship initiative, Community Table, which creates career pathways in hospitality for urban youth. The participants from The Gerald and Darlene Jordan Club in Chelsea, Massachusetts, plan to pursue a career in hospitality after graduation.
Jennifer Medina, Director of Workforce Readiness, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, shared, “The internship opportunity allowed members to gain real work-life experience. The growth in self-esteem and confidence they gained this summer will have a lasting impact. I was moved by the personal touches TCA considered when working with Leisha, Susana, and Junior”.
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“Hospitality is not to change people but to offer them space where change can take place.”
– Henri J. M. Nouwen
Chef de Cuisine Kathi Wagoner provided hands-on opportunities in TCA’s commercial kitchen at Boston Public Library. The bustling commissary provided a professional environment for teaching food safety, allergy prevention awareness, culinary best practices, and catering menu preparation.
Chef Kathi shared, “It was a joy to watch Susana and Leisha’s confidence grow. They learned how to follow elevated recipes, including empanadas sold in Newsfeed Café, plus Raspberry Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse tartlets featured in The Courtyard Tea Room.” The hands-on kitchen experience was a program highlight and provided valuable skills for future employment.
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Chef de Cuisine Peter Laspia mentored Junior Martinez, who plans to pursue a career in the local catering industry. Martinez spent the summer immersed in high-impact areas of TCA, from behind-the-scenes food preparation to working alongside seasoned Chefs at cultural institutions and unique event venues throughout Boston for client events.
“Junior quickly became part of the TCA family. He learned skills and became valuable at client events, including weddings, cocktail parties, and formal dinners, in various roles alongside award-winning TCA Chefs. Junior helped prepare hors d’ oeuvres, assisted with plating composed salads, and worked to ensure buffet stations were plentiful. Junior exudes a positive attitude and demonstrates a passion for being in the kitchen.” Chef Peter’s experience includes leading culinary teams at private events, Harvard Art Museums, Boston Athenaeum, and Folio Restaurant.
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Maya Angelou
Karen Patten, General Manager of The Catered Affair at Boston Public Library, embraced the opportunity to immerse Laisha Fajardo and Susana Garcia Nova in refined hospitality and career development. Leisha and Susanna experienced quintessential afternoon tea with Karen at The Courtyard Tea Room, where they tasted unique foods and the culinary preparation behind the scenes. Susana and Laisha were exposed to formal dining etiquette during tea service to help build confidence in individual social settings. “It was a privilege to mentor young women destined for a career in hospitality,” said Karen, who shared her vast industry experience geared towards workplace readiness and career development. Karen oversees TCA operations at Boston Public Library, leading experienced teams to success.
Jennifer Medina concluded, “TCA provided more than just an internship – they offered a fully immersed experience. The consistent support, guidance, and kindness that exuded in every interaction. They helped create a spark in the lives of these three individuals.”
Congratulations to Laisha, Susana, and Junior on a successful internship! It was a pleasure having you be part of TCA’s team.
Community Table is a multi-layered venture designed to support and amplify local entrepreneurs’ reach, cultivate youth development and urban talent within the hospitality industry, and provide philanthropic investments in foundations and enterprises aligned with the organization’s core values.
For more information, please visit our website and follow @thecateredaffair.
Written by: Kori Carter Gillespie is the Director of Brand Marketing @thecateredaffair in Boston, Massachusetts. Kori is a content writer passionate about crafting brand stories for boutique lifestyle brands.