Telly's Journey: Paying it Forward - - Telly's Journey: Paying it Forward -

Telly’s Journey: Paying it Forward

Meet Telly, a remarkable young man whose journey embodies the transformative power of determination and discovering one’s true passion. A graduate of Reconcile New Orleans and the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), both proud beneficiaries of Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Telly’s story is a testament to the impact of what’s possible.

Originally seeking workforce readiness skills to aid his family’s moving business, Telly enrolled at Reconcile New Orleans. Little did he know that this decision would lead him to uncover his true calling – becoming a chef. During his time at Reconcile, Telly’s passion for culinary arts blossomed.

In 2022, Telly had the unique opportunity to intern at one of our Foundation’s fundraising events, hosted at NOCHI. Inspired by the atmosphere and driven by newfound ambition, he applied to the Culinary Arts Certificate program at NOCHI just one week after the event. His application was met with success, and he was later awarded an Emeril Lagasse Foundation Scholarship from NOCHI, designed to support graduates of the foundation’s hospitality training beneficiaries in pursuing further education.

In June 2023, Telly proudly walked the stage as a graduate of NOCHI. His culinary journey continued as he began working at GW Fins.

Telly pays it forward by mentoring his peers today at Cafe Reconcile. His commitment to giving back has come full circle, as he imparts his knowledge and passion to those following in his footsteps.

This past November, Telly took center stage at our Foundation’s signature fundraising event, Carnivale du Vin, sharing his experience and emphasizing the profound impact of mentorship. His heartfelt words echoed the theme of the evening, celebrating the positive influence of the foundation on his life.

As we reflect on his journey, we take pride in supporting individuals like Telly and remain committed to fostering opportunities for others to follow their dreams in the culinary world and beyond.