Program Application

You can click this link to download a PDF of this application:

student application

 OR, you can print out the application below and fill it out:

Fresh Start Culinary Arts Program Application

Fresh Start Culinary Arts Program is a 12-week training program that prepares students for an entry-level job in food service, such as restaurants, hospital kitchens and school kitchens.

To submit this application, please print it out, and fill it out by typing or writing. After you have completed this application, and the tuition assistance application (if you determine you would like tuition assistance) you can submit this application two ways:

1. You may bring the completed application to Riverside Community Church front office, by entering at the front door on State Street, from 9 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday.

2. You may mail it to us at:

Riverside Community Church
C/O Fresh Start Culinary Arts Program
P.O. Box 656, Hood River, OR 97031

If you have questions as you complete this application, please call Kathy Watson at 541-386-8870. After we have reviewed your application, we will call you to set up an interview.

If you are accepted into our program, here’s what you can expect:

  • 12 weeks of hands-on training with a chef trainer, chef administrator and local guest chefs.
  • You will study for and receive a food-handlers card.
  • You will participate in preparing food for catering and meal service for customers of Fresh Start, and may at times be part of off-site catering crews.
  • You will learn knife skills, food safety, food sanitation, soups and stocks, sauces, basic butchery, basic baking, and gain knowledge of Gorge fruits, vegetables, fish and other proteins.
  • You will have a chance to work on a farm to learn how to source fresh food from local farmers.
  • You will attend class five days a week, and also assist in preparing meals for clients during some evening and weekend hours. You should expect to spend 45-50 hours a week at school during the 12-week training. Your schedule may vary from week to week.
  • You will be responsible for completing a small amount of home work each day, and will take weekly tests and daily quizzes.
  • If you come to class every day, complete your work, demonstrate your abilities and pass your tests and exams with at least an 80% score, you will receive a certificate of completion.
  • If you complete the program, we will assist you in finding an internship, and in securing your first job.

You must be able to meet the following requirements to apply for this program:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must have a desire to work in food service.
  • You must live in one of these four counties: Hood River and Wasco in Oregon, and Klickitat and Skamania in Washington.
  • You must have basic reading and writing skills.
  • You must be underemployed or unemployed
  • You will receive two work shirts, and you are responsible for wearing a clean one each day.
  • You will be responsible for providing work pants and non-slip shoes.
  • If you have long hair, you will need to wear it pulled back and tidy.
  • You may not wear nail polish or artificial nails.
  • Jewelry may only be a wedding ring and small earrings.
  • Male students with facial hair must keep it neat and trimmed. If you are usually clean-shaven, you must shave each day before you come to school.
  • You need to provide documentation of High School Graduation or GED (or currently in progress).
  • You must be able to commit fully to our 12-week program. Daily attendance is required.
  • Students must be on time and stay the entire length of the program.
  • We expect you to work well in a team, and bring a positive attitude to your work, and be clean and sober.
  • Physically, you must be able to stand and work for 6 hours, able to lift 50 lbs, able to perform frequent bending and tolerate a hot kitchen environment.
  • You must be able to follow multi-step instructions in a fast-paced environment.
  • You must adhere to our zero illegal drug use policy.
  • A criminal background or history does not necessarily disqualify you from this program. We will be running a background check on all students, so if there is anything you want us to know about your history, please talk to us.

Program Schedule

We will offer four 12-week sessions each year. If you are not accepted immediately, it may be because we are full, but we will consider you for future sessions. Here is the schedule:

Term 1, 2017: March 21 – June 10. Maximum class size: 8 students

Term 2, 2017: May 30 – August 19. Maximum class size: 10 students

Term 3, 2017: August 1 – October 21. Maximum class size: 12 students

Term 4, 2017: November 28 – February 24 (Christmas break: December 23-January 1) Maximum class size: 10 students

Contact Information


Name: ___________________________________________________________

Cell Phone: _______________________________________________________

Home phone or message phone: _______________________________________

Physical address:____________________________________________________

Mailing address (if different):__________________________________________


Date of birth:_______________________________

Which of the four terms do you prefer to attend: ________________________

Your motivation

Please tell us why you want to attend Fresh Start:




Describe your career goals for three-five years from now:




Referral Information

How did you hear about Fresh Start?



Do you have a high school diploma or GED Y N

Where did you receive your diploma or GED? ______________________________

Have you ever attended college or job training? Y N

If Yes, please describe:




Do you have any prior food service experience or education? Please describe:




Are you currently employed? Y N If Yes, where: ____________________

How many hours a week do you work? ______________________________

Current position: _________________________________________________

Describe any previous work experience and how much time you were at your previous jobs:




Housing and Transportation

Do you have secure housing for the 12 weeks of our program? Y N

Do you have transportation and are you able to make it to our class each day? Y N


If you have children, do you have adequate childcare for the 12 weeks of our program? Y N

Legal Information

We will perform a background check on all applicants. Are there criminal or other issues you would like to explain or talk to us about? Y N

If the answer is yes, please be prepared to discuss these issues in our interview with you.

Health History

Do you have any medical conditions, handicaps or impairments that make certain work or physical activities difficult for you? Y N

If Yes, please describe:



Do you have a disability that substantially limits major life activities? (Examples: mental illness, physical disability, substance abuse, developmental/learning disability.) Y N

If Yes, please describe:



Do you have a food borne illness that prevents you from working with food? Y N

If Yes, please describe:



You and Your Family

Can you describe how much English you can read and speak by circling one of these statements:

I speak and write a little English.

I speak and write English pretty well, but it’s my second language.

English is my first language.

Have you ever served in the armed forces? Y N

How many people are in your household? _____________________

Can you circle the line that best describes your household:

I am a single parent and live with my children

It’s just me; I live alone (or have roommates)

I live with my parents

I live with my spouse or partner and we have no children

I live with my spouse or partner and we have children

Please provide two references who can speak to us about your character and dependability:

1. Name and phone number:


2. Name and phone number:


Do we have your permission to call these references? Y N

Program costs

Our program is supported through the catering and food service contracts we carry out. While it costs about $3,000 for each 12-week program for each student, we expect that you will attend our program with 100% of your tuition supported by grants and our food service enterprise. We ask each student to pay a $50 materials fee.

THANK YOU! We look forward to meeting you!