‘Chef Jeff’ Shares His Story to Kick Off YCSD’s Parent YOU

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown City School District will launch its new “Parent YOU” series Thursday with chef Jeff Henderson.

The virtual event, which begins at 5 p.m. on Zoom, will have Henderson share his story of going from a 10-year prison sentence to a renowned culinary artist. The event can be watched HERE. Drawings for Henderson’s memoir, “Cooked,” and gift cards will be held during the event.

“I think Chef Jeff’s story of transformation will resonate with a lot of people,” said Youngstown City Schools CEO Justin Jennings in a statement. “When you hear about how he evolved from where he was to where he is, you can’t help but be motivated to reach your goals.”

Parent You is part of YCSD’s effort to get parents more involved in the school system. It includes featured speakers and meetings with educational leaders, focusing on social emotional learning, literacy, diversity and career awareness for English learners.

Parents get credits for participation and can receive awards for their accomplishments in the program.

While he was incarcerated for selling drugs in southern California, Henderson discovered his passion for cooking. After his release, he worked his way up from dishwasher to head chef at Cafe Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Henderson has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Good Morning America” and NPR. This fall he will have a show, “The Chef Jeff Project,” on Food Network.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.