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Food industry group WWRC awards grants

WWRC founder Sue Zelickson (front, center) gathers with the 2017 grant recipients after the awards ceremony May 22 at Roth Living in Minnetonka.

Eleven students were the beneficiaries of Women Who Really Cook’s Sue Zelickson Grant program, receiving their awards May 22 during a special event at Roth Living, a luxury kitchen studio in Minnetonka.

WWRC, a Twin Cities-based networking group founded by Zelickson, supports female students pursuing a career in foodservice management, hospitality, culinary and/or baking and pastry arts programs at accredited post-secondary schools in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and eastern North Dakota.

Over the past two decades, WWRC has raised more than $40,000, awarding funds to applicants in various stages of their foodservice and hospitality industry education.

This year, every student who applied was awarded a grant.

“All their stories were so great, we just couldn’t turn anyone down,” said Jessica Bartl, chef instructor at Art Institutes International and WWRC grant committee member. In addition to receiving a $500 grant for education-related expenses, award winners were also given a subscription to Foodservice News, along with a one-year membership to WWRC, opening the door to networking with a community of women in the industry as young professionals.

“I feel really grateful for [the grant]. It’s a lot of help to get the financial support because school is very expensive,” said 19-year-old Sarah Fey, a student in the culinary program at South Central College in North Mankato. She plans to allocate all the funds toward to her tuition.

Each year, Zelickson is there to present the awards and share the winners’ stories.

“Every year it just gets more heart warming and more exciting,” said Zelickson. “And the students who apply usually get in because they’re all worthy, and their stories are all fantastic—from an ex-policewoman to a mother from Brazil—it’s just wonderful. If we can help them a little bit, it helps them a lot.”


Congratulations to the 2017 WWRC Sue Zelickson Grant recipients:

Sarah Fay, Good Thunder, Minnesota, attending South Central College
Danielle Gerjets, Coon Rapids, attending Art Institutes International MN (two-time winner)
Randa Hak, Eden Prairie, attending Normandale Community College
Angela Nooraga, St. Paul, attending Le Cordon Bleu
Lucy Ramquist, River Falls, Wisconsin, attending University of Wisconsin-Stout Jennifer Shaffner, St. Paul, attending St. Paul College
Jamie Albee, Andover, attending Le Cordon Bleu
Mary Albrecht, Eagan, attending St. Paul College
Christianna Danielson, Coon Rapids, attending Art Inst. International
Elaine DeLima, Fargo, North Dakota, attending Le Cordon Bleu
Nicole Dittirch, Courtland, attending South Central College


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