Retired Chicago Public School teacher Gloria D. Hafer who teaches an Afterschool Matters program began by our former chair Maggie Daley and Mayor Daley’s Summer Youth Job Ready program received a formal city proclamation by the Chicago City Council. Mayor Richard M. Daley and members of the City Council recognized Chicago educator and culinary teacher Gloria D. Hafer for superior achievements in the education field and leading the way in fighting childhood obesity. Hafer and her students featured several of their desserts to the City Council members. Hafer, a 40+-year veteran and graduate of the Chicago Public School had taught at Taylor elementary school for 34 years and at Washington High School 3535 E 114th Street on Chicago’s far South eastside where she developed and opened the Washington RJD Culinary Institute.
She is currently teaching a beginning and advanced culinary apprenticeship program for Afterschool Matters at Bethlehem Lutheran School, and 3 healthy eating classes at the Senior Centers in Chicago for senior citizens. She also has taught a Healthy Eating class to inner city school children’s parents to help stem the tide of childhood obesity.
Gloria has a Bachelor of Science from Chicago State University. She is a member of the American Culinary Federation and is the national chair for the Chef & Child program for the south central region.
The culinary program developed in 1997 has caught the attention of Chicago’s top chefs. Under the curriculum, the program instills pride, teaches them hygiene, etiquette, nutrition, focuses on career development and exposes the students to other cultures.
The students have studied with Chicago’s leading chefs including Charlie Trotter, Martial Nougier (160 Blue) and Bistronomic, John Bubula (formerly of Timo),Colin Beaumier( formerly of the Whitehall Hotel) Patrick Sheerin (Signature Room John Hancock) Don Zajac (Phil Stefani’s Harborside Restaurant) Gale Gand (Tru)
The students continue their studies with Afterschool Matters during a 6 (Beginners and 7 Advanced week summer job program working with these and other celebrity chefs.
The students were also invited by Starbucks corporate office to present their culinary skills at DiRona, The Distinguished Restaurants of North America Conference in Seattle, WA.
Hafer’s students continue to work in the food industry and several have pursued a career in the food industry. The program has received numerous awards including the
Chicago Tribune Good Eating Award in 2003
State Proclamation for Education by State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka,
Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Excellence in Education award and the Outstanding Achievement in Education by 10th ward Alderman John Pope.
Chef Hafer and her students were featured in the October 2004 issue of Cooking Light Magazine and the Best of Cooking Light 2005.
May 2006 nominated for Woman of the Year in Chicago by Amanda Puck
October 2007 featured on ABC7-Harry Porterfield “Someone You Should Know”
Chef of the year 2007 during Bloomingdales Home Store Oakbrook “Hot Sales” Event
July Chef Hafer and students performed at the Dominic’s Cooking stage at Taste of Chicago 2008, 2009, 2010 2011 and will again perform in 2013.
August 2008 the teens and Chef Gloria were featured in Teen Voices.com magazine
2008 Chef Hafer was nominated for “Outstanding Educator of the Year-Chicago Public Schools
.In July Gloria was named recipient of the A+ for Energy 2008 grant sponsored by BP Amoco and again in 2010
September 2008 named High School Teacher of the Year for the 10th Ward/Alderman John Pope –Eastside Chamber of Commerce
May 2009 Hafer was named P.A.C.E. Chicago Woman of the Year
August 2009 Hafer featured on Culinary Educator Today Magazine Afterschool Matters National website and Michigan Apple Growers Website.
Gloria has been featured in numerous on-line segments on the Food Channel.com as well as in November 2011 Gloria was featured in a full length documentary on Food Channel.com entitled “Behind the Dreams”.
October 2013 Gloria & Students were featured in the PBS series “In the Loop” showcasing a project with the Drake Hotel –Tea at the Drake
The apprentices and Chef Hafer have been featured on many of Chicago television stations including NBC- ABC- CBS- WFLD (FOX) and the Chicago cable network
July 2014 Gloria and teens were featured on fox news and partnered with the Palmer House Hilton Chicago to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of the Wizard of Oz movie
May 2015 Northwestern University Dr. Barton Hirsch completes 6 year study of 13 programs working with minority youth and job skills ranked Gloria Hafer program NUMBER 1 Teens and Gloria will be featured on the cover of the book and in a chapter in the book To be released early 2016
The teens and Chef have been featured in numerous on-line segments of the Food Channel.com
Over 2000 students have completed the program to date.