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Chef credits Salvation Army for changing her life

by: Vanessa Welch Updated:

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DORCHESTER, Mass. - Tucked inside the Salvation Army facility in Dorchester is a kitchen where dreams come true. 

“I really wanted to do it but I didn't have the means to do it," said Patricia Nesbitt. 

Patricia, a wife and mother of three, dreamed of becoming a chef. But without the resources, a high school degree, or even a job, she didn't think it would ever come true

“I would call Le Cordon Bleu up a lot of times and just hang up the phone," she said. 

One day she received an email that would change her life. The creator of the Culinary Arts Training program, Chef Timothy Tucker, emailed Patricia, offering her a free spot in his class. 

“It was the best news I’ve ever heard. And so I came. And I gave it 100 percent," said Patricia. 

“Every part of her soul - you could tell she was here to learn," said Tim. 

Chef Timothy's program taught all things culinary, and Patricia eventually earned the title she had dreamed of for so long - chef. But there were many lessons other than cooking she also learned. 

"Self esteem wise, being confident managing money and all these different things - this is where I found myself," she said. 

With her newfound confidence and skills, Patricia was able to launch her very own business, a catering company. Patricia is even working on a patent to distribute her own line of pre-seasoned butters and she credits her success to the Salvation Army and Chef Timothy. 

Patricia said that she'll never forget all that she's learned, which is much more than basic cooking skills. 

“I didn't just leave as a chef with a chef coat and knife set and a certificate. I left knowing who I was what I wanted out of life."

Her journey exemplifies a message we often hear. 

“Believe in yourself. You can do it. Its going to be hard. You're going to cry and some days might not be so great but its going to be worth it. It will all be worth it," she said. 

She also says she is grateful for Pastor Matthew and Mona Thompson and JCC Shark Tank, who all helped her get her business off the ground.