Farm-to-school and school garden allows Raquel Vazquez to shine.
Brendan Ryan, director of food service for Framingham School District, says: Raquel worked for us during an internship, and upon its competition continued as assistant to the director. Raquel is bright, energetic, compassionate, professional and genuinely well rounded in job performance. Her work was consistently above average. Her biggest contribution to our district was the initiation of a farm-to-school program. She was also instrumental in the formation of a student-run garden.
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Having had the opportunity to meet and learn from outstanding mentors, while working my way through very tough situations, to learn what it takes to successfully run a lunch program. I wouldn’t have been able to do anything in my career if I didn’t have really great instructors.
I have very fresh ideas from all the different places I’ve worked. I can go into any location with a new idea and a real sense of imagination.
My advisors at Framingham State were the first ones to give me the confidence I needed. They helped me steer my path from nutrition and dietetics—I was going for my R.D. I had much more of a passion for school nutrition. They reassured me that I didn’t need my R.D. to be a school nutrition professional.
When I entered my first internship I had no idea how much responsibility came with the job. I had to face my fears and learn how to manage the high stress, high pressure and high expectations. Having dealt with that while I was still in school really helped me learn to conquer my fears quickly.
The moment I learned how to deal with high-stress pressure and expectations. You gain that sense of confidence that you can do it.
I’d like to focus on learning new management techniques and ways to manage and lead a staff.
One of my cooks was out sick, so I had to make macaroni and cheese from scratch for the first time. I poured too much flour in the sauce. I was covered in flour and the sauce was chunky. I had to start all over again.
How much I stressed and worried about my job. Having dealt with many obstacles and worrying about every minute detail, I can now focus on the big picture and get the job done without worrying so much.