Officially in its 75th year, global, family-owned food company Rich Products has announced the creation of a dynamic new scholarship for local students who dream of attending The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. The Dr. Shirley Brown – Rich Products scholarship will send three students from Emerson School of Hospitality (PS 302), a vocational high school focused on the culinary arts, to the CIA—the world’s premier culinary college—to pursue an associate degree in culinary or baking and pastry arts.
“This is an opportunity to steward the next generation of culinary leaders and make a real impact on the future of our industry,” said Ted Rich, executive vice president, Organizational Excellence, Rich Products. “As a purpose-driven company, we’re continuously looking for ways we can have a positive impact on our industry, customers, associates and communities. This scholarship pays tribute to one of our beloved culinary associates who embodies both culinary innovation and the purpose of our organization. This initiative is one small way we’re able to pay her passion forward to shape the future of culinary arts.”
Paying tribute to a culinary pioneer
The Dr. Shirley Brown, Rich Products scholarship celebrates Dr. Shirley Brown, a 46-year Rich’s associate and the company’s first culinary technical professional. Dr. Brown single-handedly created Rich’s culinary training program from scratch, innovating, influencing and acting on opportunities to better serve Rich’s customers. Also known as “Miss Shirley” on the television show Romper Room, Dr. Brown has a passion for nutrition, education, the culinary arts and children.
An educator and industry veteran, Dr. Brown helps Rich’s K-12 school segment customers understand and integrate the company’s products into their own menus. From creating technical schools within Rich’s business to designing curriculum for customers, Dr. Brown develops enriching experiences for culinary professionals and organizations throughout the food industry.
“I love education and the opportunity to help young people,” said Dr. Brown. “My career at Rich’s has given me a marvelous opportunity to learn and the confidence to try and do things I never thought possible. If I could give these students one piece of advice, it would be that knowledge opens the door to opportunity. Believe in your own abilities, set goals for yourself and don’t ever be afraid to reach for those goals.”
The Dr. Shirley Brown, Rich Products scholarship will be awarded to one Emerson graduating senior each year for three consecutive years (2020-2022). Each scholarship will fund tuition for an Emerson graduate to earn an associate degree and graduate from the CIA. Rich’s support will enable the scholarship recipients to focus on their studies without the worry of financing their education. Rich’s also is working toward creating internship opportunities for scholarship recipients, so they can combine their learning alongside Rich’s certified chefs and culinarians.
“This truly is a life-changing opportunity for our students and one that many otherwise may never have had,” said Dr. Debbie Stokes-White, principal, Emerson School of Hospitality. “I believe these scholarships have the chance to change the trajectory of these students’ lives. I speak for our entire school when I say how thankful we are to Rich’s for this incredible opportunity for our students.”
The CIA will look to Emerson to identify recommended students based on academic standing and financial need. Prioritization will be given to those entering the CIA’s baking and pastry arts program, however any student interested in culinary arts is eligible to apply.
Nourishing the culinary industry
Rich’s involvement with the CIA dates back more than 20 years. Mindy Rich, vice chairman of Rich’s, is a CIA trustee emerita, and Ted Rich is a current CIA trustee. In addition, Rich’s has supported numerous CIA programs, including customer innovation sessions, professional development initiatives, R&D culinary programs, events and conferences, and is an approved site for the required CIA externship.
“The CIA truly values our long-standing relationship with Rich’s,” said Dr. Tim Ryan, president, The Culinary Institute of America. “We share a strong passion for educating future culinary leaders and empowering them to advance the culinary profession into the future. We’re excited to welcome the Dr. Shirley Brown, Rich Products Scholarship students into the CIA family and look forward to watching them make their mark.”
Students interested in the Dr. Shirley Brown, Rich Products scholarship must complete the admissions application at www.CIAChef.edu by April 1, using code apply20 to waive the application fee. For more information regarding admission to the CIA or the scholarship, please contact Nicole.Beauregard@culinary.edu or (845) 451-1507.