Carousel Ranch students job-shadow at Salt Creek  

Charles Stockwell (right) delivers a plate of food to two restaurant guests while he job-shadowed a Salt Creek Grille employee on Thursday evening. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Charles Stockwell (right) delivers a plate of food to two restaurant guests while he job-shadowed a Salt Creek Grille employee on Thursday evening. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
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Charles Stockwell and Anthony Vallenas, two Ready to Work students from the Carousel Ranch program, were ushering back and forth through the hallways of Salt Greek Grille, seating customers at their designated tables and delivering freshly cooked food during their job shadowing experience on Thursday evening.  

Stockwell and Vallenas were eager to learn from the employees they were shadowing all evening long, and excitedly took on new tasks to challenge their professional skills, hoping to learn something new that is essential in the real world.  

The job-shadowing experience coincided with a Carousel Ranch fundraiser at Salt Creek: Each Thursday during February, a difference restaurant is donating a portion of proceeds for diners who participate in the fundraiser, benefiting the nonprofit whose programs include Ready to Work and equestrian therapy for developmentally disabled individuals. 

The evening’s tasks for Stockwell and Vallenas would be comprised of seating guests, serving tables, and preparing the dishes. They each were shadowing a Salt Greek Grille employee who was also giving them tips and advice on how to succeed.  

Stockwell and Vallenas have both shown interest in food service. Through the Ready to Work program provided by Carousel Ranch, Vallenas has taken food service, retail and hospitality classes. Stockwell has taken culinary classes.  

“It’s really being able to mash both of those things into a hands-on experience,” said Ready to Work instructor Hannah Herbold, who was overseeing her two students and making sure they were OK throughout the process.  

It’s important for the students to truly see what the job entails and prepare themselves to slowly strengthen and better their skills, said Herbold.  

Vallenas was eager to continue practicing seating people and happily spoke to the two employees he was shadowing.  

Stockwell was focused, making sure he wouldn’t mess up the dishes he was delivering to the tables. 

Salt Creek Grille Manager Jennifer Chadwick has witnessed the Ready to Work students job shadow the employees multiple times in recent years.  

The business agrees to be a part of the process because it’s a good way for their employees to experience something that is rewarding and makes them feel good, said Chadwick.  

She added: “It’s our way to donate back and we want that in their [employees] hearts as well as ours.”  

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