I WARN YOU!! If you consider this letter to be an example of an enabling mother??? STOP Reading NOW! We will continue to seek JUSTICE in this educational tragedy without you. This school didnt only fail John, IT FAILED ITS OWN MISSION STATEMENT
Orlando Culinary Academy Mission Statement
Orlando Culinary Academy's Mission is to serve students from diverse backgrounds, seeking to enhance their individual worth and professional potential, by delivering quality educational programs and services in alignment with Career Education Corporation standards. All of the employees of the Orlando Culinary Academy are committed to promoting student success as measured by graduation and career achievement.
How did this student FAIL so miserably at the Orlando Culinary College, Le Cordon Bleu Program? He left home at 19 years old on a Great Mission after winning scholarships. What happened? He competed with thousands of other people for scholarships and wrote essays entitled:
How I Embody the American Dream and hat it Means to Me
How a Medullablastoma Affected My Life
The Deeper Meaning of Aloha and the Significance of the Lei
Advice to Others with Cancer and A Win Win Attitude
Orlando Culinary Academy's Mission is to serve students from diverse backgrounds My family and I come from the Big Island of Hawaii, from the Puna District; diverse in cultures along with rampant poverty, unemployment, early unwanted pregnancies, mental and physical disabilities, drugs and alcohol, school drop outs and now with the gas prices cant get to school. Here you will find a different side of Paradise. John Christopher is my son.
He is now 24 years old. His life story is one of GREAT SUCCESS! A Cancer Survivor of a childhood brain tumor (Medullablastoma), and a recipient of cancer college scholarships, to include one from the American Cancer Society and other generous organizations. He is one of the greatest examples of a student who made it in life because of the "No Child Left behind Act." ; loving parents, community support and the courage to go off Island. He went as far as he could go without a Passport.
John graduated 12th grade with a 4.0 GPA, and after graduation worked for Bubba Gumps Shrimp Restaurant in Kailua Kona, Hawaii Island, Ala Moana, in Honolulu and in Lahina, Maui, for a year (2007-2008) before starting college. He wanted a year of cooking experience before going to college. John particularly chose Florida because he believed it to be a State most similar to home, that being: full of ALOHA He wanted to go away to the Mainland for his degree because sometimes in Hawaii Mainland College and/or University degrees are acknowledged above local ones. For some of the students from Hawaii it is a feat to survive on the Mainland.
The Orlando Culinary Academy in particular, led us to believe that the Le Cordon Bleu Program they offered was elite and offered one of the most promising degrees, an Associate of Science.. This was to be a 15 month program along with a three month internship. We were so, so excited when he was accepted.
John has requested and accumulated a list of outstanding recommendations, achievement awards, a letter from our previous Governor, Linda Lingle, acknowledging him in an essay contest, subject: Health and Fitness, and a publication in our local newspaper, the Hawaii Tribune Herald, for a book he read in his High School Book Club titled The Dangers of Methamphetamine. Presently, John is the Chef and Assistant Manager at the Volcano Golf and Country Club. He is also a new father of his 3 week old son, Forest Paul.
Sometime before the school Spring Break of 2009, John was bitten between his upper lip and the bridge of his nose by a venomous spider in the apartment he rented while attending college. The spider was a Brown Recluse. Two or three days after he was bitten he made his way to the school but by then his face was terribly swollen. Both eyes swollen shut. He went to class but his teacher sent him to his student advisor.
John eventually ended up at the Dr. Phillips Hospital, Orlando, but not before going to a clinic recommenced by his student advisor, and given a non-effective antibiotic by the doctor there; possibly, and more than likely, a missed diagnosis occurred. John waited 2-3 days for the antibiotic to give him some relief from the excruciating pain and dangerous swelling but the ER was his only choice now.
What we are dealing with are facts and consequences that followed.
1) The dismissal of an OUT OF STATE college student after he was bitten by a Brown Recluse, therefore, losing both part-time jobs, defaulting on his rent and becoming homeless.
2) The refusal to grant a medical leave of absence requested by the student and parent in a timely manner.
3) Severe bulling by other students that consisted of:
1. Destroying his school uniforms by taking his shoes, breaking the buttons on his chef coats and cutting up his chef pants.
2. Taking text books awarded to him through various Cancer Survivor scholarships, to include the American Cancer Society of America.
3. Stole his chef utensils given to him during his Orientation.
Homeless, hungry and penny-less he felt alone with no other choice than to go to Montreal, Canada, where he has a close friend. As Spring Break came to a close he hitch-hiked from Montreal back to the Orlando Campus and missed approximately four days of classes. That is when he learned he had been kicked out of school.