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IRA Educational Foundation

ProStart® Program

ProStart Illinois

The ProStart® program offers high school students practical industry experience combined with textbook learning to begin a successful career path. ProStart is a national, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills that will last a lifetime. ProStart serves over 90,000 students nationally and reaches over 3,000 students in Illinois.

The curriculum is industry relevant, addresses necessary critical skills, meets Illinois State Board of Education learning standards, and offers nationally recognized certifications. The Illinois ProStart Program goes beyond just providing a curriculum in the classroom. Connecting activities include classroom presentations, teacher training sessions, field trips, classroom speakers, coordinating worksites, providing communications vehicles for the program, public relations efforts, and awareness campaigns. For more info for students and teachers, see below:

ProStart is an industry-recognized program and brings together employers, suppliers, industry leaders and you to help develop future leaders.


Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Awards $144,500 in Scholarships to Students



The Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) awarded $144,500 in scholarships – more than $15,000 more than in 2012 – to students in pursuit of post-secondary education in the Culinary and Hospitality Management fields in a ceremony at the IRAEF’s Annual Scholarship Luncheon held on Saturday, June 1, 2013.

Scholarships were awarded to 61 high school and undergraduate students who will attend 20 colleges and universities throughout the country. 34 students have participated in the national two-year ProStart® program that combines curriculum with work-based learning experiences. 17 Chicago Public Schools students received scholarships totaling $34,750.


Students from Illinois Rank Among Winners
in the 12th Annual ProStart® Invitational

The Technology Center of DuPage and Elgin High School represented Illinois at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) 12th Annual National ProStart® Invitational, which took place in Baltimore, Maryland from April 19-22. In the Culinary competition, the Technology Center of DuPage team won 2nd Place and took home scholarships. Elgin High School competed valiantly in the Management portion of the competition to earn 10th place honors out of 46 teams.



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