In remembrance of the C-CAP Chicago alum, Denzel Thornton, who was tragically killed outside his workplace this past summer, HIC, Harold Import Co. announces the creation of the C-CAP/Denzel Thornton Memorial Alumni Scholarship.
This scholarship honors Thornton’s spirit and determination, and will be presented for the first time on March 19, 2017 during the Culinary Futures Chicago Dinner Reception & Silent Auction to support Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).
Denzel Thornton attended Corliss High School and graduated in 2009. He was awarded a full-tuition scholarship from C-CAP to attend Johnson & Wales University in North Miami where he majored in hospitality management and tourism. During his time at J&W, he interned at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and went on to be a student ambassador for the program at J&W.
Upon graduation in 2013, he became one of the youngest hotel managers of the Marriott in New Orleans. In late 2014, he returned to Chicago to care for his grandmother and began working at ARAMARK/Chicago Public Schools, mentoring students and helping to create healthier lunches in the school system. He remained in that position until his death in the summer of 2016.
“Denzel was a bright light in the C-CAP program," explains Robert Laub, President of HIC, Harold Import Co. “His drive and determination enabled him to rise up against all odds and to build a future for himself. Denzel showed immense gratitude for the opportunity that the C-CAP program provided to him, and he was determined to give back to those who helped him succeed.... What is quite telling is that, given his opportunity to go wherever his skills could take him, he returned to Chicago to give back to the very schools from where he came. It is unfortunate that his life was cut short, and we felt it fitting to create a scholarship in his honor.”
The C-CAP Denzel Thornton Memorial Alumni Scholarship will be presented to the student who best exemplifies his spirit, determination and dedication to building a future for him/her self, while inspiring others through their work. Adds Laub, “Denzel signed his emails with, ‘You succeed by helping others succeed,’ and it is with this spirit, that HIC has created this scholarship.”
For that past 7 years, HIC has been instrumental in supporting scholarships to benefit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), a national non-profit organization that works with public schools to prepare at-risk students for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Specifically, the annual Chicago Culinary Futures Benefit brings together industry professionals and friends in Chicago for the International Home + Housewares Show to benefit C-CAP Chicago students. Through the years, with HIC’s help and support, C-CAP Chicago students were awarded more than $430,000 in scholarships.
Not only does HIC help raise money at this popular industry event, HIC’s support for these students continues throughout the year. A portion of the proceeds from the HIC Essentials line of kitchen gadgets are donated to Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).