Edwins Founder to Speak at United Returning Citizens Ball

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Brandon Edwin Chrostowski, chef-owner of Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute in Cleveland, will deliver the keynote address at the United Returning Citizens masquerade ball Friday at the DeYor Performing Arts Center.

The event, which starts at 6 p.m., will support Project Good Homes, a URC initiative that helps people returning citizens from the criminal justice system find safe housing.

In 2004, Chrostowski created his business plan while attending the Culinary Institute of America.

The plan, he said, was inspired by a break he received was he was younger. While on probation himself, Chrostowski was mentored by a chef, which then allowed him to travel around the world with his newfound culinary skills.

“I wanted to be able to give all of that back in some shape or form – so this was the idea,” says Chrostowski. “Edwins – a school and a restaurant that trains people the fundamentals.”

Edwins is a six-month culinary training program designed to help those who recently got out of the criminal justice system. It teaches culinary, restaurant and hospitality skills.

“After six months, we find positions for men and women who want to stay in this industry,” says Chrostowski.

The program provides free housing, a library, a fitness center, a store, a basketball court and more. Recently, it purchased a building that Chrostowski intends to turn into a free daycare center.

Chrostowski said he and URC share many of the same goals and ideals. Through his speech, he hopes to humanize the program’s participants and show what is possible.

“We all believe, regardless of your past, we all have the right to a fair and equal future,” he said. “That’s the premise we stand on – that’s the premise they stand on. And we just want to provide skill sets, provide support, provide direction and just provide this web where if someone comes home with nothing, they can still have a great life and career after that.”

Attendees with VIP pre-party tickets will be able to attend the event an hour early for a cocktail hour with Chrostowski and event sponsors. Click HERE for more information.

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