The Emeril Lagasse Foundation donated more than $245,000 to the Dan Marino Foundation and its Hospitality program at Marino Campus. The funds were raised at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s annual Line, Vine & Dine event. A $15,000 grant will further the Dan Marino Foundation’s mission to prepare young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities for gainful employment, social growth, and independent living.
This award will support students of the Marino Student Café program held at Marino Campus in Fort Lauderdale. The café provides a weekly opportunity for students to experience the full scope of the hospitality industry. With guidance from an industry expert, students are involved in every aspect of the café, from taking inventory, preparing shopping orders, creating menus, preparing food, taking orders, and delivering food. The grant will help incorporate a Point-of-Service system for additional practice opportunities in a variety of careers.
“The national employment rate for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities is 17 percent”, said Mary Partin, CEO of Dan Marino Foundation. “Thanks to programs like the Marino Café, made possible by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, this year’s Marino Campus student employment placement was at 72 percent.”
To make this program successful, the Dan Marino Foundation collaborates with more than 20 businesses and industry partners to offer in-person internships and employment opportunities for participants. The intense career support entails active job search activities, interviewing, job-onboarding, coaching, and mentoring. The date of the next Line, Vine, and Dine events are February 3-5.