YouthEntity culinary program earns national recognition |

YouthEntity culinary program earns national recognition

Young chef Lily Janssen from Bridges High School is part of the four-person culinary arts team that represenedt YouthEntity and the state of Colorado at the National Invitational in Dallas last spring. Other members of the culinary group included Leah Allen and Justice Wofford, at right, from Roaring Fork High School, and Mauricio Sosa, left, of Basalt High School.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

Carbondale-based Youth Entity has been named to the 2017 Elite 50, an annual selection of the top 50 secondary school hospitality programs in the nation.

The Elite 50 list recognizes high schools as well as career and technical centers that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in hospitality education. The schools set the standard for secondary school training in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts and/or hospitality management.

YouthEntity is a nonprofit organization based at the Bridges Center in Carbondale that provides real-world learning experiences and helps students prepare for potential careers through a variety of programs outside the regular school setting. Its ProStart culinary students have competed on the national level three out of the last four years.

The programs selected for the national list are marked by strong enrollment and a dedication to community outreach. Many of this year’s Elite 50 programs have won state and national competitions for ProStart, SkillsUSA and Family Career and Community Leaders of America.

More than 350 schools were invited to apply for the honor of being named to the Elite 50 list. Criteria for the schools selected for the Elite 50 included an original recipe with photos, a restaurant management design and informational materials like videos or brochures about the school’s program.

The National Center for Hospitality Studies at Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky, oversees the selection process for the Elite 50 list. The National Center for Hospitality Studies offers programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, hotel and restaurant management, event management and tourism and hospitality management.

For additional information about the 2017 Elite 50 list, visit

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