Who You Have Helped

Each year, the CIA awards more than $1.6 million to approximately 500 students who demonstrate need and meet the CIA’s high academic standards. Your contributions have gone a long way toward increasing the level of support we can provide, reducing our students’ overall debt, and allowing them to start their new careers on more sure financial footing. Scholarship funds come from all sources - private individuals, foundations, and businesses and corporations.

Meet some of our most deserving scholars in our diverse student body, face to face:

Fariyal Abdullahi, Van Nuys, CA
AOS in Culinary Arts, 2014
Julia Child Foundation Scholarship for Culinary Writing
Rains-Shapiro Endowed Scholarship


Prior to attending the CIA, I worked for T-Mobile USA supervising 28 stores. My position entailed making sure all of the stores hit monthly assigned quotas. I had a very promising future ahead of me. Although at the age of 21, I was the youngest employee to get promoted to such a high level, I always felt like it wasn't my true calling. I felt a void in in my life that only culinary school would fill.

Shaza Banna, Long Island City, NY
AOS in Culinary Arts 2013
Partridge-Invitation Club Scholarship


I grew up in Concord, Ohio and I’m a first-generation Syrian-American. I have always been interested in cooking but it was always just something that Arab women had to know how to do. So, it was my grandmother and mother that influenced my love of food. As a child I was always in the kitchen with them and even though I was always there helping them, they brushed aside my dream to pursue a culinary career as a silly thought. So, respecting their opinion, I never explored culinary arts in high school.

Bukola Ikuomola, Upper Marlboro, MD
BPS Baking and Pastry Arts Management, 2014
Jerry Berns Endowment for Diversity Scholarship


I came to the CIA as an aspiring pastry chef. I knew that the CIA was the best choice for me because it is widely credited for offering the best hands on program. So far, I have been truly blessed to have the opportunity to establish personal relationships with talented chefs and professors who have been constant mentors to me. I have learned to believe in myself and never stop pursing my dreams. I have learned to be driven and to put my greatest efforts in all that I do. One day, it is my goal to be self-employed with an acclaimed bakery café.

Sarah Brucker, Ingram, TX
AOS in Baking & Pastry Arts, 2014
Joe Baum Endowed Scholarship
Société Culinaire Philanthropique Endowed Scholarship

I made the decision to attend the CIA when I was in my third year of high school because of my deep love and passion for baking. I was incredibly excited to move from Texas to New York and start learning everything that I could about baking. I absolutely love what I do.
Receiving these scholarships provides me tremendous peace of mind. These gifts allow me to continue my education and enable me to focus on my studies without worrying about paying for next semester.

Maribeth Coons, Tivoli, NY
AOS in Baking and Pastry Arts, 2014
J. Frances Massie Endowed Scholarship
James J. McCann Scholarship


I am extremely happy and appreciate being selected as a recipient of these scholarships.

As a Baking and Pastry Arts student I've grown to love all mediums and styles of design and baking. At the CIA, I've found a great passion in gum paste flower design. I very much wish to work with this medium in the years to come.


Kelly Gilchrist, Poughkeepsie, NY
AOS in Baking and Pastry Arts, 2014
Dyson Foundation Scholarship


LaGrange, New York native and Arlington High School graduate Kelly Gilchrist has wanted to pursue a culinary degree since childhood. “I first became interested in baking when I was a little girl. Even though baking was my passion, I decided on engineering in high school. I was wrongly convinced that baking wasn’t a “real” career choice. I found myself not liking the classes as much as I should have. When exploring my elective options, I was drawn to the culinary arts classes. I had noticed chefs on television and realized that I could be very successful and follow my dreams.”

Emmanuel Oh, Twinsburg, OH
AOS in Baking and Pastry Arts, 2015
Andersen Company, Ltd. Endowed Scholarship


Before attending The Culinary Institute of America, I earned my bachelor's in Chemistry at The Ohio State University. My original goal was to work in a pharmaceutical company, synthesizing drugs, and trying to come up with new ways to help people.

Melisa Varitimos, Norwood, MA
BPS in Baking and Pastry Arts Management, 2015
Craig Claiborne BPS Endowed Scholarship
George McKerrow Jr. Endowed Scholarship


I came to the CIA to pursue a career in the field of baking and pastry arts; a job where I can combine my love of food and my love of art into one. I could think of no better place to learn the trade than at the world’s premier culinary college.

Kirsten Thorn, Housatonic, MA
BPS in Culinary Arts Management, 2014
Brandy Brandenburger Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Brian H. Smith Memorial Scholarship
Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs/Hal J. Rosoff Scholarship
Jones Dairy Farm Endowed Scholarship
Julia Child Foundation Scholarship for Culinary Educators
Larry Levy Scholarship
Peter and Fran Bonk Honorary Scholarship


Food has always been a passion of mine, and not simply the cooking of a meal. I am drawn to a life in food due to the principles that food teaches.

Katie Sanchez, Houston, TX
AOS in Culinary Arts, 2014
Marc L. Sarrazin Memorial Endowed Scholarship


After receiving a psychology degree, I changed my career path, deciding not to go to medical school. I enrolled in the CIA instead. I hadn’t been happy with what I was doing. I realized that when I was stressed I would cook. It seemed wiser to follow the path I loved.



Erica Tatham, Olathe, KS
BPS in Culinary Arts Management, 2014
American Roland Food Corporation Scholarship
Julia Child Foundation Scholarship for Culinary Educators


I can remember being fascinated by my grandma when I was little. She was always cooking and baking for others. She believed that this was the truest form of love. She had a huge garden that she worked every morning. When I was young I’d help her tend it.


CONTACT THE OFFICE OF ADVANCEMENT:
Office of Advancement
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
845-905-4275
Email: advancement@culinary.edu
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