Emeline Garcia

Emeline Garcia soaks up information like a sponge at Salida schools.

Why Selected?

Billy Reid, child nutrition services director, says: Emeline was hired as a two-hour cafeteria helper. She quickly showed us she wanted to work more than two hours a day. Emeline quickly became my go-to extra-duty person. Before and after her shift she worked in the central kitchen, where she soaked up info like a sponge. She wanted to be trained to drive a truck and deliver and she wanted to learn the computer, all of which she accomplished with no problems. 


Cafeteria Assistant, Salida Union School District, Salida, Calif.
Age: 27
Education: High school graduate
Years at organization: 1

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Being recognized by my boss for this award. It’s an honor and a humbling experience because I never thought I’d be recognized for all the effort that I put into my work. 

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

I’m a very fast-paced worker and a quick study. I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues. 

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

Always strive to try your best each and every day. Set goals for myself to constantly improve in the workforce. 

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Learning all the new components for school lunches. It was pretty challenging at first, but I’m proud that I’ve put that all together and I’m making a difference in making healthy school lunches. 

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

I don’t get to see the kids that much because I work in the kitchen where we distribute meals from. When I get the chance to go to the schools and the kids ask me what we’re having for lunch, I love the feeling of them enjoying the food we are cooking. 

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I’d like to continue to learn and grow. With school lunch being such a hot topic right now I feel really fortunate to be in a position to have a direct impact with the kids. 

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

I haven’t had a really big disaster, but close to it. We had chicken nuggets on the menu one day and right before we needed to leave for delivery, I noticed that there weren’t any chicken nuggets in the hot carts; they were all still in the oven. There was only 15 minutes before we needed to leave so we didn’t have time to start a new batch if they were burned. Thankfully the nuggets weren’t too crispy. 

Under 30

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