TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — At 37-years-old, Salvador Alvarez wanted to make a change.
"I've been in and out of prison all my life. I was like, am I going to be doing this for the rest of my life? You know? I don't want to be there at 60-years-old trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my life," said Alvarez.
Alvarez started by asking himself one simple question:
"What do I like to do? That's what someone had told me a long time ago: find something that you like to do and try it," said Alvarez.
For Alvarez, the answer was obvious.
"I like to cook. I like to eat. I've been cooking my whole life for myself," said Alvarez.
That passion for food led him to GAP Ministries. The non-profit trains people 40 hours each week for 10 weeks and helps them land a job in the culinary field.
"Since COVID happened, we did not take more than 10 people. Usually we'll have 10 to 12 people in the classroom. This time, we had four for the majority of the culinary training program. We were really able go hands-on, one-on-one," said GAP Ministries Culinary Training Program Executive Chef and Instructor, John Hohn.
Alvarez said he has a new feeling when he is in the kitchen. One word sums it up: freedom.
"It's frustrating at times. You just want to give up, but nothing that's worth it comes easy," said Alvarez.
Alvarez recently graduated from GAP Ministries Culinary Training Program. He will soon start a new job cooking at the University of Arizona.