If there was a motto written to describe the Hankerson Family, who reside in Novi, it would be: “The family that cooks together, stays together.”
In fact, Kevin and Tricia Hankerson describe cooking together as something the family really values, with Kevin doing most of the summer cooking and Tricia taking over the helm in the winter.
All the family time seems to have paid off because their youngest son, Trendon, is now a senior at Novi High School and about to graduate from Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southwest’s (OSTC-SW) culinary arts program, ready to put his skills to the test in college and beyond.
“It just broadens your horizons,” said Trendon of attending OSTC-SW. He said he learned more than just cooking skills from the program, as he was introduced to other important culinary skills such as proper cutlery, presentation of food and business dinner etiquette.
“Not only are students learning skills they can apply immediately, they are earning multiple certifications while learning life skills,” explained Kevin. “For example, my sons were taught fine dining skills as young men. I didn’t learn the proper business dining etiquette until I was a few years into my career. This campus is preparing students for life.”
Trendon enrolled in the culinary arts program after hearing about how amazing it was from his older brother, Kameron, who was a graduate of the program in 2016 and is now living away at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. His brother’s advice to attend OSTC did not disappoint. Trendon says he has fully embraced the program and knows what he is learning is very valuable.
“I like being in the kitchen,” he said. “It’s very prideful when you can cook a meal and enjoy it.”
From Kevin and Tricia’s standpoint, they have enjoyed watching both their sons grow from “young, teenage boys to collegiate, young men.”
“OSTC-SW has allowed them to broaden and enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills and their educational learning. It gives them a great sense of pride and accomplishment to be able to work well in groups, just like they will in the real world,” said Tricia, adding, “As parents, we understand our children and how they learn best. OSTC-SW has not only enhanced their leadership and communication skills, it has helped them find their own voice.”
To learn more about Oakland Schools Technical Campuses, visit https://ostconline.com/.
Sarah Davis is the communications specialist with Oakland Schools Communications Services Department. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.