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Food Industry Group WWRC Awards Culinary Grants

Sue Zelickson introduces Daniela Antillon (left), who left her native Costa Rica to attend the Art Institutes International in Minneapolis.

Danielle McFarland

Twin Cities-based food networking group Women Who Really Cook hosted its annual scholarship gala May 18, awarding funds to a selected few college students pursuing careers in the culinary and hospitality industry. 

This year, 13 applicants were selected by WWRC’s board to receive the Sue Zelickson Grant based on academic merit, culinary goals and references. Students received $500 awards for education-related expenses in relation to the culinary arts. Recipients were also given a subscription to Foodservice News, along with a membership to WWRC, thereby opening the door to networking with a community of women in the industry as young professionals.

Over the last two decades, the nonprofit networking organization for women in the food and hospitality industry has allocated nearly $40,000 toward supporting culinary dreams. Local foodie, philanthropist and founder of WWRC, Sue Zelickson, presents the awards every year to each student while telling their story and highlighting aspects of their life attributing to their drive in pursuit of culinary dreams.

One winner this year, Daniela Antillon, recently relocated to Minnesota from Costa Rica to stay with her uncle while attending culinary school at the Art Institutes International in Minneapolis. Her story includes the twist that she has yet to be approved for a U.S. work visa, making her unable to maintain a position in most commercial kitchens through college. While Antillon expressed thanks for the funds while accepting her award center stage, Zelickson offered to connect her with the owner of a nonprofit bakery nearby as a potential opportunity to gain experience volunteering. 

“That’s what we do here at WWRC,” said Zelickson. “We network.” 

2015 Sue Zelickson Grant Recipients
Kristina Youngquist, Le Cordon Bleu
Jessica Sanchez, University of Wisconsin STOUT
Alishia Kulzer, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Moorhead
Katrina Dufresne, Art Institutes International
Katey Cieklinski, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Moorhead
Samantha Taylor, Art Institutes International
Elizabeth Lehrhamp, Le Cordon Bleu
Sahar Fody, South Central College
Megan Daly, Art Institutes International
Julie Butzlaff, Art Institutes International
Kayla Brockman, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Moorhead
Daniela Antillon, Art Institutes International
Kahlayaha Bey, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC)

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