Career Coaching Collaborative helps student, food truck entrepreneur discover pathways beyond high school

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May 31, 2023 - Bryssa started her first food truck, Bryssa's Taqueria, when she was in the 10th-grade. After a year in business, she is highly motivated to further explore the culinary arts and pursue her entrepreneurial passions.

Owning a business while finishing high school presents many barriers. After receiving encouragement and recommendations from school staff at The Academy of Las Animas Online, she signed up for career coaching to learn more about training and certification programs, and ways to continue to build her business. 

A career coach with the Career Coaching Collaborative connected her to Generation Schools Network —a nonprofit committed to elevating learning experiences for today’s youth—for a one-on-one opportunity to speak with Mo Montgomery, the Culinary and Education Director of Fuel and Iron. 

Montgomery invited Bryssa and her mother for a private tour of the Fuel and Iron food hall, where they also discussed its robust culinary apprenticeship program. The learning experience is designed to keep culinary education alive and preserve the culinary culture of the region by serving as a small business “incubator” to help entrepreneurs launch new restaurant concepts throughout the state.

A cohort of eight Fuel and Iron Apprentices get to work in all of the different restaurants of the food hall and learn different techniques from each chef. During the course, apprentices pick up 11 different nationally-recognized certifications, while earning commensurate wages with raises every 1,000 hours of work.  

Excited to see the endless possibilities of growing her own business, Bryssa plans to apply for the program that begins in the Fall of 2023.

Bryssa is one of nearly 900 Coloradans who have received career coaching services by the Career Coaching Collaborative, a statewide career coaching program serving residents who have been displaced during the pandemic. Grant money from the Coronavirus State Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds Act provides funding to hire career coaches for every local workforce area. 

If you know a recent graduate or someone who is interested in receiving free career coaching, they can schedule an appointment directly or visit our landing page to learn more about the Career Coaching Collaborative and how trained, professional career coaches are helping Coloradans find their next job.