gmhtoday February March 2018 18 gmhToday Feb March 2018 - Page 30

“I got into philanthropy to be part of the growth and change in Gilroy. I try to model that for my students so they see the connection between giving back, and having a great community to live in. They need mentors who have faith in them. It’s a life-long process. I’m still watching people here who are in their 70s, showing us how it’s done.”            C arlos is a chef, teacher, entrepreneur and youth mentor. At 29, he has an impressive record of community service and shows no sign of slowing down. In 2007, he graduated from the Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell. He interned as a pastry cook at the Inn at Spanish Bay. That led to positions as Executive Baker and Executive Pastry Chef in Monterey, Los Angeles, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy. Three years later he joined Rebekah Children’s Services to help develop its Culinary Academy. The program, which serves disadvantaged youth aged 15-25, teaches them culinary skills in a commercial kitchen, and life skills for independent living and navigating the workplace. Students completing the program earn a certificate recognized by the hospitality industry. 30 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Inspired to teach, Carlos earned his credential for vocational education in 2014. Today, more than 800 students have gone through his program, which has achieved a 98 percent placement rate with students either continuing their education or landing jobs. He also launched Kneaded Bakery so his students can sell their baked goods and help fund Academy operations. Currently, Carlos is President-Elect of Gilroy Sunrise Rotary Club. He has also served on the boards of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Gilroy, t he El Cajon Project and the Gilroy Exchange Club, and on the Executive Committee of the South County Young Professional’s Network. In 2017, he won the Gilroy Garlic Festival Showdown. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018