Queen of the Kitchen
by Joe Rose
After one-and-a half years as a student in Landmark’s Prep Program, Katia Green began to think outside the box in terms of her future. What she began to envision at that point in her junior year would go a long way toward changing her life both academically and personally.
"Most of my friends were looking forward to their senior year at Landmark,” said the 19 year old. “Even though I loved Landmark, I had some things I wanted to do sooner, rather than later!" With several years of experience working at Boston-area eateries, Kat was specifically exploring starting her college experience early by studying culinary arts in an early enrollment program at Johnson and Wales University (JWU) in Providence, Rhode Island.
"Johnson and Wales was offering exactly what I was looking for," she explained. "I knew that I wanted to work in culinary services and eventually become a chef, and this was a perfect opportunity. In the early enrollment program, I could use my senior year to finish my high school credits, while starting to study the culinary arts, all on the JWU campus."
Paving the Way
What Kat was exploring was something that had never been considered by a Landmark student. Essentially, she would be dually enrolled at Landmark and JWU, take all her classes in Providence, while still coming to Landmark to meet with her advisor, Chris Murphy, once a week. In the spring of 2016, Kat presented her idea to the Landmark Diploma Committee, which approved her as the first dual-enrollment college/high school student in the school’s history.
"I really did a lot of research into the JWU program before I presented my idea to the Diploma Committee," she remembered. "I had a lot of help from Mr. Murphy as well as Mrs. Crossman, director of Transition and Guidance, and Mrs. Cunningham, Prep Program academic advisor. In the end, the committee approved my proposal and I started to plan my move to Providence."
Making It Happen
In the fall of 2016, Kat moved into JWU student housing and began taking several classes including English Composition, College Mathematics, and Life Science, which would help her fulfill her high school graduation requirements. The following trimester, she began studying in the globally recognized kitchens of the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts department, where she worked with master chefs in classes such as Cooking in the Global Marketplace, Food Safety and Sanitation Management, and Foundations of Baking and Pastry.
Kat’s original idea clearly turned into an unmitigated success, as she fulfilled all her high school requirements, while also passing all of her college courses.
"Landmark helped prepare me in so many ways," she said. "From the classroom strategies, to the skills I learned living residentially at Landmark, I could not have succeeded without the support of the entire Landmark community."
Kat graduated with her Landmark class on June 3, 2017, and returned to JWU as a college sophomore for the 2017–18 school year. Needless to say, there will be countless accomplishments and delicious dishes in her future.
Article originally published in The Lantern, Spring/Summer 2017