Tulsa’s Table is working to change the landscape of the Tulsa community by breaking the cycle of generational poverty and hunger. We work with at-risk youth who not only lack basic life necessities such as food, clothing, and access to quality education, they also lack the support and hope to believe in a future for themselves that is different than their lived experience. Through our work, and that of other incredible organizations, we will see a rise in the economic mobility of the next generation of underserved Tulsans. Empowering and training these youth will provide access to a greater pool of talent and potential, lower the overall need for social services, and increase the resiliency and vibrancy of Tulsa.
Because food is a significant need for these youth, as well as a common language and vehicle to build relationships and community, we focus on culinary programming as a means to teach job and life skills. We teach direct culinary and service skills for the restaurant industry and integrate STE’A’M educational topics while professionals from the community present life skills such as communication, teamwork, financial literacy, and goal setting. Backed by research-based methodology and developed by our founder, who shares the lived experience of a traumatic childhood with the youth we serve, we approach the problem in a direct, yet empathetic way. Our aim is to connect the teens with local employers after completion of our program requirements and set them on the course toward self-sufficiency.
Tulsa’s Table is unique not only in the focus of the work, but the structure and design of the programming. Our twelve-week program can be expanded or contracted to meet the specific needs of our partners, making it both mobile and scalable. All we need is access to a kitchen and a table and we can tailor our program to meet the needs of the community we are working in. We have a long-term vision of packaging our program for licensing or franchising to communities around the country looking for food-based job and life skills training.