Liberty’s Kitchen Participants Complete Delgado College-Level Course

July 15, 2019

June 12, 2019 was an exciting day at Liberty’s Kitchen in New Orleans. Four Liberty’s Kitchen participants and alumni completed a 12-week college-level course called Bridge to College: College and Career Readiness. This was made possible through a partnership between Delgado Community College and Liberty’s Kitchen, with support through a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. During this final day of the course, there was a celebration and the proud students were presented a Certificate of Completion, some Delgado swag and a brand-new MacBook, courtesy of Liberty’s Kitchen.

This marks the first time a college class has ever been taught at Liberty’s Kitchen and was also the pilot class under the Hilton grant. It was based on a similar class at Delgado, College and Career Success Skills 107, and was taught by Delgado Instructor Jasmine Mastin. Not only were students able to take the class for free, they also received free materials including a textbook, binder and daily planner. The daily planner helped to provide a backbone to the curriculum as a central component of the class was time-management skills, and students were expected to keep track of their schoolwork and their lives in the provided daily planner.

In addition, students learned valuable study skills, learned about different learning styles and polished their own personal learning styles to help them be better students. Students learned note-taking and research skills, setting them up for future courses at Delgado or elsewhere. They also worked on job-readiness and soft skills, working on resumes, cover letters and mock interviews in the class. The course culminated in a final project, a digital vision board project encompassing what students learned in the course. For some of them, this was the first time they presented substantial work in front of an audience, showcasing the public speaking skills and increased confidence they gained in the class.

Academic coaching was another crucial part of the course. Mastin provided the coaching as well, and students received three coaching sessions throughout the 12 weeks. She discussed with them future academic and career goals as well as where they are in their lives and any barriers they might be facing. At the end-of-class survey, 100 percent of students said the academic coaching was extremely valuable. Other survey questions yielded great results as well. At week 12, 100 percent of students responded that they planned on enrolling at Delgado, thought their teacher was excellent and felt that the class was good or great.

Finally, the class was offered as a non-credit course with the eligibility to gain three Delgado credits upon enrollment and yields a “P” for "pass." Students must go through the college LEAP process for prior learning credits and were provided with detailed instructions and sample forms to facilitate the process. Students will ultimately provide a portfolio of their work as well as their certificate of completion to gain the much-deserved credit for the class.

Liberty’s Kitchen is committed to this ongoing partnership with Delgado Community College and a second class is being planned for Fall 2019.


Liberty's Kitchen graduates
Proud graduates of the class display their certificates of completion. From left: Richon Robinson, Richard Coleman, Liberty's Kitchen CEO Dennis Bagneris, Nori Brown, Da'Mon Keelen, Delgado Instructor Jasmine Mastin.

Liberty’s Kitchen creates pathways for New Orleans youth to create and achieve their vision of success through workforce training, leadership development, and support of healthy lifestyles. Founded in 2009 by Janet Davas, Liberty’s Kitchen has served over 750 young adults since the inception of its Youth Development Program. In its nearly ten years of existence, Liberty’s Kitchen has deepened its impact to include leadership development for alumni, work with employers to sustain long-term career pathways, and a number of food access social ventures that make fresh, healthy food more accessible for communities across New Orleans. 

Delgado Community College will celebrate 100 years of service to the New Orleans region in 2021. The oldest and largest community college in Louisiana, Delgado provides instruction online and at seven locations. Delgado offers students the most comprehensive array of education and training services available in the 10-parish New Orleans region. Additionally, Delgado has articulation agreements with most of the state’s four-year colleges and universities that allow students to transfer their Delgado credits to bachelor’s degree programs. As well as offering degrees and transferable college credits, Delgado provides diplomas and certificates in many professional and technical areas. Workforce development is a priority at Delgado, hence the college’s well-known motto: “Education that works!”