Our program at Curt’s is unique and much needed. Formerly incarcerated or proven-risk youth have limited options and few resources available to them. Even a short period of confinement dramatically affects a young person’s ability to thrive outside incarceration. They have little hope of securing employment, even for entry level positions. Many end up living on the streets and return to destructive habits. They cycle through the courts and 82% of those released are being sent back through the system within a year.

So here at Curt’s we are determined to provide that opportunity for at-risk youth, to train them and provide them with marketable skills and then assist them in securing employment. We tutor them in culinary technique but also provide them with the instruction they’ll need to fill in educational gaps, gain confidence, and become job-ready.

We support our students in the process of learning productive life skills by introducing them to four disciplines:

L – Life Skills such as opening a bank account, decision-making, job readiness

I – Intellectual Skills such as English, math and computer literacy

F – Food Service Skills in the kitchen, as baristas, in counter service, and in food preparation

E – Experiential Skills by providing mentors to support the students outside the Café

Some of the teaching is done on the Café line, some of it is done in a classroom setting, and some of it is done by individual mentors.

If you are willing to change your life and take your first step to the brighter side, call us on 847 868-8385 for student registrations details.


Our Success Story – Testimonials
curt's students

“Evanston has been my home for 25 years but I am grateful to Curt’s for giving me a community to grow with and love.”

“I am thankful for being able to have a good life and having jobs and a ton of people who care for me, also for taking it to where I am now”

“I’m thankful to be part of Curt’s community.  I am inspired and gratified by the amazing people who surround me there”

“You gave me my voice back”
“I am grateful for all the wonderful volunteers who give so selflessly to Curt’s.”

I’m glad I got the opportunity to build a bond with you and share memorable experiences through Curt’s.

Employer Testimonial –
I have to tell you I am speechless with how impressed I was, my FOH manager was, and my kitchen crew was tonight with Donnell* and Greg*. If tonight is any indication as to how on top of things they will be and how professional they will be moving forward I am a very lucky restaurant owner. Whoever the chef is that trained Greg, spot on! He communicated well, was on top of his game and was proactive in being one step ahead of tickets at all times. Donnell was also proactive and polite in doing tasks and learning what was involved in running/bussing. I look forward to meeting and hiring other Curts alum!!! Let me know if you if you need testimonials, based on tonight I will sing your praises!