The Cameron Thompson
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Cameron was a charming and warm young man; his creativity, enthusiasm, and joy were contagious. His passing left a profound impact on his colleagues at The Restaurant at Meadowood, including Christopher and Martina Kostow who together with Cameron’s mother, Tracie, and The Culinary Institute of America, established this scholarship to help increase access to professional culinary training as a pathway toward robust careers in food and hospitality for aspiring African American chefs.
The Cameron Thompson Legacy Scholarship will support diverse students pursuing the college’s 18-month Associate Degree program. Thanks to this scholarship, students would be able to participate in a rigorous, state-of-the-art, hands-on program in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts under the direction of prominent CIA chef-faculty and instructors.
Scholarships at the CIA: For nearly 75 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been widely recognized as the world’s premier culinary college. The CIA is a private, not-for-profit college, and scholarship support is often the determining factor in a student’s ability to pursue, and complete, a CIA education. The college’s programs provide the foundation of training, knowledge, and skills for professional achievement.
The ability to gain the necessary skills to support career advancement in the fine dining world is predicated in great part by financial means- including receiving a formal culinary education, doing unpaid (or lower paid) stages, and having the financial security to choose places of employment based not on wages but on the additional education and experience found therein. These are opportunities many do not have, and without providing access to these resources it will be difficult to achieve the goal of realizing greater representation of people of color in food and hospitality leadership positions. The purpose of this scholarship is to help bridge that gap.
The fund will offer scholarships in perpetuity in Cameron’s name, and has been designed so that recipients receive full support for tuition and room and board. With an abiding commitment to a recipient’s future success, Chef Christopher Kostow will help each culinary student to engage in meaningful stages at a network of the world’s best restaurants. During this time the students will receive ongoing mentorship with an established group of African American leaders in the industry, and provide assistance with job placement upon graduation.