Who is a Program Partner?

Those accepted into Root's youth training program are referred to as Program Partners because we support them along their pathway to success, and expect them to put in the effort needed to optimize program payoff.  


Our Program

Root offers a rigorous 12-week, 200 hour, workforce training program that uses food preparation and service as its vehicle for teaching career and life skills. In the kitchen at Root, and those of our partner restaurants, hotels and caterers, Program Partners learn and practice safe food preparation and handling, and many other direct skills that they will need to succeed. They attain industry-certified credentials that give them a sense of accomplishment - and an advantage in seeking employment. In Root’s classroom they learn professional preparation and develop maturity and life skills that will help them to secure and thrive in their first and subsequent jobs.

"Eating food is a basic human need, but the process of making and sharing food fulfills much more than our caloric requirements. Cooking is a creative process with a strong social purpose. When we share food, we make connections, develop trust, build communities, and show love. New Liberty students need Root because they want access to stable living-wage jobs and they need to build stronger connections to supportive communities. Root offers our students both of these opportunities."  

Jess Yurwitz
Founding Principal
New Liberty Charter School,
Salem, MA


"The Van Otterloo Family Foundation found a perfect match of missions with Root.  It is our Foundation's goal to provide small grants that make the greatest difference in the lives of those who are under-served by traditional programming.  Through Root's programming, Program Partners develop technical and practical training, as well as life skills.  Students leave Root with credentials to enter food preparation and service jobs, one of our nation's fastest growing industries.  It is an honor to support this path for our local, at risk youth."

Erin Van Otterloo
Executive Director
Van Otterloo Family Foundation