Great Jobs KC
Making an Impact, One Dish at a Time – Michael Mugisha
Growing up in Congo, Michael Mugisha learned early on how to cook. Because food was scarce, he was forced to make something from whatever ingredients he and his loved ones could find. Learning to cook was how Michael helped provide for his community, which shaped his desire to be a professional chef.
Michael is an inspired Scholar from J.C. Harmon High School, where he first heard about KC Scholars. While attending his high school, Michael also attends Kansas City Kansas Community College for a Culinary Arts Certificate B. Being able to attend KCKCC makes Michael’s day more exciting and helps to lower his daily stress, “I am less stressed about my future because I am pursuing [my] career goals… At KCKCC I get to breathe and express my emotions through the task I am given”. Michael shares how this taught him so much, and he realized how much of a blessing it is to prepare a hot meal for someone. He aims to give hope through a plate of food.
He plans to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts upon graduation, potentially working up to a master’s degree. After completing his first-generation college education, he hopes to become a Chef. Being a first-generation college student means a great deal to Michael as he intentionally sets an example for his family to go for their dreams no matter what. Michael hopes to have the opportunity to learn how to cook different cultural cuisines and create his own experience with food. He aims to experience the art of Gastronomy, the art of good eating, and exploring culture, history, and food traditions.
Michael reflects on his experience and how continuing to work towards his dreams has been a blessing. While college or continued education isn’t an option for everyone, he recognizes how important the gift of learning is. Michael shares that one of the greatest things about KC Scholars is that the staff “do their jobs for the students and not the money”. He is grateful for the support he has received while he has been a part of the program. He feels that KC Scholars is more than just a support system. Michael shares that to be a KC Scholar is to be a part of the KC Scholar family.
Michael not only appreciates the staff who have helped him daily, but he recognizes the impact KC Scholars CEO Earl Martin Phalen has made on his life. Michael adds how he would like to thank Mr. Phalen for never giving up on young men and women to grow through education, “Starting with the BELL Foundation, he never lost hope for the students all over the world. I am truly honored to be a member of his family”.