Making dreams happen with effort and help
Frankford High School
Teacher: Wilma Stephenson
New Rochelle, New York
How C-CAP Made a Difference
“I don’t know where I would be now without the scholarship to Monroe,” Dembele explains. “Through C-CAP I met Chef Marcus Samuelsson and got a chance to work at Riingo. Personally and professionally, C-CAP has made a huge impact on my life."
Fatoumata Dembele wanted to go to college. But her family was recently arrived from Africa and had few resources. With help from C-CAP, Dembele made her college dream happen. Though not without plenty of work–and nerves–along the way. Watch the documentary Pressure Cooker with scenes of Dembele and other students preparing for the C-CAP Cooking Competition in 2007 for a window on the hours of practice and the high stakes. Even more tense for her was the C-CAP awards presentation. “Once I passed the competition, I knew I’d receive a scholarship but didn’t know to where,” she explains. “I really wanted to go to Monroe College. I’d visited the campus and the academic program is strong.”
Dembele will graduate from Monroe with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and a minor in forensic accounting. Her advice to current C-CAP students: “It’s not just about winning a scholarship. It’s your effort that will determine your own outcome.”