Emanuel Meets Aspiring Young Pastry Chef

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Mayor Rahm Emanuel receives an apple and pumpkin pie from Isabel Martinez and Stephanie Mazzone.
Photo Credit: Brooke Collins // City of Chicago

On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel met eighth grader and aspiring young pastry chef Isabel Martinez and was presented with an apple and a pumpkin pie, both proudly baked by Martinez under direction of her mentor, MK Restaurant pastry chef Stephanie Mazzone.

Martinez participates in the SPARK program, which pairs low-income Chicago teens with Chicago professionals as career mentors. Isabel is currently an eighth grader at Namaste Charter School in the McKinley Park neighborhood. Inspired by her father’s love of cooking, Martinez meets with her mentor Mazzone at MK Restaurant for two hours each week and enjoys the hands-on experience that the SPARK program and MK restaurant provides.

Founded in 2004 by teacher Chris Balme and Melia Dicker, SPARK aspires to help youth become motivated learners and connected community members and encourages adults to nurture the next generation through mentoring and volunteerism. Partnering with One Good Deed Chicago in the Success Coaches program, SPARK uses the one-on-one engagement to empower students to graduate and achieve their dream jobs.

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