Tempe High School senior DeAndre Edgerton has earned a $40,000 full tuition scholarship to attend Scottsdale’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Cooking Competition for Scholarships.
More than 100 juniors and seniors from across Arizona competed in the preliminary competition in February. The top 31 seniors advanced to the March 21 finals where they prepared four dishes – two chicken and two crepes. The teen chefs were judged in seven key areas: time, organization, sanitation, presentation, taste, knife skills and cooking skills.
“I feel like I’m still living in a dream and I am just so happy,” he said. “This scholarship is life-changing. It helps ease the financial worries of college and provides a jump start for me.”
Edgerton balances his passion for the culinary arts with academics and athletics. He’s earned straight A’s his junior and senior years and is a member of the Tempe Buffaloes track team. He also serves as the THS garden manager, responsible for planting and sustaining herbs and vegetables used by the school’s culinary arts students.
Tempe High School culinary arts instructor Lorna Barker is impressed by Edgerton’s drive.
“DeAndre is an amazing young man and I am so proud of him and his determination, personality and passion for learning. He has remained teachable and that is key to being successful in this industry,” said Barker.
Edgerton and Barker are thankful to Tempe High alumnus Yulissa Acosta, who earned a $3,000 scholarship in the 2014 C-CAP scholarship competition, and retired Chef Bob Szabo, for mentoring Edgerton as he prepared to compete.
C-CAP is a national nonprofit organization that works with public schools to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Since 1990, C-CAP has awarded students $43 million in scholarships and donated $3.8 million worth of supplies and equipment to classrooms.