The Apprentice Program

Inspired by Christian principles of compassion, forgiveness and opportunities to improve. The Table Foundation Apprentice Program distinguishes us from other businesses in the food world by serving a critical need in our community for opportunities to attain housing and employment. With our companionship, we will help people transition from active incarceration to stability through our shared passion for food and inviting others to join us in our mission. In this way, we help people get a path to a happy, healthy, and fruitful life.


The Table Foundation House Apprentice & Formation Program

The Table Foundation House will provide food service training and formation for apprentices for 6 months -12 months. Apprentices are selected for their passion for food and seeking employment in the hospitality industry, but also need support through a time of personal transition. The Table Foundation will work specifically with different outreach groups to aid “Ex-Convicted-Members” returning to society. Graduates of this program can potentially earn full-time employment at one of our local restaurants and will possess remarkable professional skills that will help them become productive, happy members of their community and larger society.

Apprentice Candidates

The Table Foundation through referrals from non-profit, religious, and government partners. Candidates will be vetted and selected by The Table Foundation staff. Successful Apprentice candidates will be highly motivated, capable people with a passion for food and an inspiring story. They should already be prating healthy living habits (e.g. drug-free) and must be ready to fully commit to the program and to building a better life for themselves through a career in the food world.

Formation Program

The most unique character of The Table Foundation House is the Formation Program to assist Ex-Convicts in their re-entry program. The unique vision of The Table Foundation is to enable those with an interest in the food hospitality field to develop into productive participants in the community while healing and becoming whole persons. With Fr. Leo’s passion for food, excellence in service, professionalism and communication abilities, Fr. Leo will shape individuals for this work. As Formation Director at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, Fr. Leo shaped men for their priestly vocation of service to God and others. He has worked extensively with prisoners. The Table Foundation will help heal and shape individuals to become servants themselves.

We will assist graduates of the Apprentice Program through our restaurant partners from whom we seek a commitment to hire their sponsored apprentice. In turn, we guarantee our partners  that graduates will be extremely well-formed, passionate about food, and dedicated to their family – all the ingredients that make for a great restaurant.

Restaurants will get a tax deduction for their sponsorship. We will seek to be in continued relationship with graduates of the Apprentice Program, to build a strong alumni network, and to foster relationships between alumni and current apprentices. Through this vital work, we sow seeds that are the future of the food industry, better the lives of individuals, and build stronger communities.

The Table Foundation Apprentice Program will be a major driver of our aim to help people in need from our community, to use amazing food to bring people from all walks of life together around a common table, and our mission to Harvesting the Power of Food to do Good.

Preparing individuals as whole persons can lead sinners to become saints! The Table Foundation is dedicated to this transformation through a series of applications to create individuals “fully human and fully alive.” This can only be accomplished by understanding and then applying human virtues.

Who Is Invited to the Table?

Inspired by Roman Catholic spirituality, the program will be open to anyone who authentically seeks a “Higher Power,” can demonstrate the interest, commitment and discipline necessary to succeed, and has a willingness to grow holistically. This means that candidates will learn to present with proper hygiene, good daily habits, and whatever it takes to become successful in providing for themselves and their families.

They will capitalize on their individual strengths, gifts and talents so as to become viable, employable members of the community. They will humbly acknowledge areas of growth and work to develop practical and realistic habits to manage any of their vices. Their success will in turn lead apprentices into leadership positions in their future an din service to the common good in the world. Though the spirituality will be based upon Judeo-Christian values, it will not preclude candidates based on faith backgrounds, and in fact celebrates that diversity.


The Foundation will educate the apprentices/candidates on a six-part virtues series focusing on Humility, Communication, Religion, Generosity, Compassion and Celebration. Each month will highlight and unpack a particular core virtue bringing in specialists to expound upon each one, all geared towards excellence in their future jobs and in their family life.


God always serves us with humility, so we are called to do likewise to others in our communities and relationships. This requires recognizing all our gifts, talents, abilities, faults, failings and weaknesses and placing them before God so that He can do truly miraculous things through us. Mother Theresa embodied this very virtue saying: “I am just a pencil in the hand of God.”

This primary and most fundamental of the virtues will be addressed as follows:

How do we see ourselves? How does God see us? How do we see God?
How do others see us?
What are the differences between being proud and having pride?
Being humble and being humiliated?
Do I know my gifts? What part of they play in my relationships?
How do I utilize them to become the best possible version of myself?


The Apprentice will be taught multiple facets of effective communication techniques via counselors, journalists, speech pathologists, and others to help express their needs while growing and being prepared to enter the field. By grasping the tools of healthy communication, they can express what might remain locked up inside to bring about further healing of the self. Patience will be stressed as a vital element to success; that is, patience with God, neighbor, self, and the very process of healing.

Paramount to becoming a whole person while maintaining relationships:

How do candidates feel about themselves and why?
How do they convey thoughts, feelings and ideas to others and how to improve upon them?
What tools may be lacking in their ability to communicate?


The history and tradition of religion has shown how the simple act of feeding people can promote peace and harmony and bring about the loving presence of God. This human reality, beautifully captured in the sacred traditions of Roman Catholic teaching, shows that food is the most universal language of all.

The Foundation seeks to marry the application of spiritual truths with a dedication to serving in the food hospitality industry by:

Creating a community of believers and practical support networks
Reconciliation with a Higher Power and themselves
Study of Scripture, spiritual reading & other inspiring texts as applicable per each applicant
Community sharing and “prayer”- as communicating heartfelt best wishes for themselves and others
Learning to pay attention to how their Higher Power influences their daily lives

Growing in a love relationship with God will allow candidates to expand in generosity, and compassion – not only to others but to themselves. Knowing that God loves you allows you to love yourself better despite whatever difficulties, hardships and mishaps which may have led some into the places they are. This kind of healing is paramount to a successful program that nurtures the human spirit.


Generosity builds self-esteem, grows kindness and enhances proper love of self. Learning this skill entails desiring and being capable of giving back in whatever ways possible per the individual. The Apprentice will learn to make, spend and give; all of which are basic needs of the human condition

A generous spirit attracts people which helps build community. Learning this virtue can diminish self-centered attitudes which in turn engenders love of self, God and others. The focus will be on:

Mastering one’s assets as gifts for oneself and for others
Nurturing an attitude of selflessness and focusing on others
Acting as an example of generosity and encouraging the same in others

The Foundation will offer services of financial planners, social workers, soup kitchen aids and CEOs who have a record of returning part of whats been given to them back to the community


What are we hungry for in the depths of our hearts? To be accepted and loved, yet too many are marginalized and ignored. Exercising the generous spirit of compassion heightens acceptance among each other.

Of course, we all hunger for food and drink, but the need to go deeper is ever present. We desire compassion and need to learn to share it with others. It’s in first expressing this virtue that we then in turn receive it:

How do professionals have compassion for their co-workers, people they serve, and their wider community
Our apprentices will also be required to name a group or people or cause that is near and dear to their heart, and they’ll have opportunities and encouragement to volunteer their time and efforts
Our program will provide a hopeful and holistically healthy approach to understanding adversities in life. It’s about being “optimistic” to the point being “hopeful” in the future and in the future of others
We seek to understand forgiveness, not just receiving it but giving it. We hope to build character that comprehends how to be a compassionate peacemaker and servant in today’s cut-throat world.

In recognizing the brokenness in ourselves we can then readily accept and forgive that same brokenness in others; only then does true growth occur.


The Foundation will aim to increase this sense of gratitude encouraging candidates to highlight the many gifts that are ever present in our day. Joy is the fruit of appreciation, so to increase our thankfulness produces joy, which in turn attracts others and
assists them in counting their own blessings.

The human spirit yearns to celebrate and there is much to be thankful for. Prisoners can anticipate a hopeful future as the result of the Foundation’s efforts to:

Proactively notify prisons of opportunities provided by The Table Foundation upon release
Outline how decisions have consequences and life is a series of decisions
Recognize hope and anticipate the fruits of one’s labors
Create opportunities to celebrate holidays, birthdays and other significant milestones. We want to make sure each apprentice has a place at “the table” where they can share Good News and learn how to deal with the normal reality of ‘bad news.’
We seek to provide a healthy approach to enjoying life, without abusing it, without sublimating it for the pop-culture or tv version of happiness
We want our members to know, deep down inside, what it means to be happy!

By getting to know the true self more and more one can become aware of and manage their own brokenness. This leads to a celebration of the whole self.