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A new chapter: GAP Ministries expands to help even more Tucsonans

GAP Ministries Campus of Hope
Posted at 7:03 AM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 21:06:35-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Thirty-seven-year-old Jamie Dexter is living a new life. It's one he earned with hard work and dedication.

"I did about 15 years. I was in for aggravated assault and substance abuse. I was a struggling youth," said Dexter.

The mistakes of yesterday don't define him. In 2021, he was introduced to a new community that gave him skills to land his very first job.

"I asked my re-entry program if they have any volunteering or anything that I could do. They said they knew this awesome chef named John that ran the GAP Culinary Program," said Dexter.

GAP Ministries 10 week Culinary Training Program taught Dexter how to be a master in the kitchen. The program is now expanding and moving to a new location, called the "Campus of Hope."

"This new building will impact our students. Each new student will have their own cook space. Each student will have their own grill, their own burner, their own cook space," said GAP Ministries Culinary Training Program Executive Chef and Instructor, John Hohn.

The 5 acre, 70,000 square foot space will also expand GAP's many other job training, food distribution and family support programs.

"We are just so excited to be able to have our own space that is GAP Ministries. We are currently leasing space. We are able to save the ministry hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by moving to this space," said GAP Ministries President, Greg Ayers.

Dexter graduated from the culinary training program in October 2021. He is excited to see even more people take the same positive path that he did.

"Don't give up. Keep your head up and live life. It's a beautiful one," said Dexter.

To learn more about GAP Ministries and how to help, click here.