gmhTODAY 18 gmhToday Feb March 2018 - Page 30

“I got into philanthropy to
be part of the growth and
change in Gilroy. I try to
model that for my students
so they see the connection
between giving back, and
having a great community
to live in. They need
mentors who have faith
in them. It’s a life-long
process. I’m still watching
people here who are in
their 70s, showing us
how it’s done.”



Carlos is a chef, teacher, entrepreneur and youth
mentor. At 29, he has an impressive record of
community service and shows no sign of slowing
down. In 2007, he graduated from the Professional
Culinary Institute in Campbell. He interned as a pastry
cook at the Inn at Spanish Bay. That led to positions as
Executive Baker and Executive Pastry Chef in Monterey,
Los Angeles, Morgan Hill, and Gilroy.
Three years later he joined Rebekah Children’s Services
to help develop its Culinary Academy. The program, which
serves disadvantaged youth aged 15-25, teaches them
culinary skills in a commercial kitchen, and life skills for
independent living and navigating the workplace. Students
completing the program earn a certificate recognized by the
hospitality industry.
Inspired to teach, Carlos earned his credential for
vocational education in 2014. Today, more than 800
students have gone through his program, which has
achieved a 98 percent placement rate with students
either continuing their education or landing jobs. He also
launched Kneaded Bakery so his students can sell their
baked goods and help fund Academy operations.
Currently, Carlos is President-Elect of Gilroy Sunrise
Rotary Club. He has also served on the boards of the Gilroy
Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Gilroy, t he El Cajon
Project and the Gilroy Exchange Club, and on the Executive
Committee of the South County Young Professional’s
Network. In 2017, he won the Gilroy Garlic Festival