Celebrity chef Jeff Henderson of the Food Network’s show “Flip My Food” shared his story of personal failures on his way to success as part EdVenture’s “Be A Boss” youth summit Saturday.
“I always had a dream,” Henderson told the crowd of middle school students at Columbia’s children’s museum Saturday morning. “I always wanted more than my mother and my father. I saw myself one day being rich, because when you’re poor, that’s all you think about – money.”
Henderson shared how poverty, poor performance in school and surrounding himself with negative influences at a young age led him to crime, drugs and prison before he eventually became the first African-American executive chef at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He warned the students not to make the same mistakes he did or else face the same consequences. He encouraged them to surround themselves with positive, successful people.
A youthful Henderson was hanging around the wrong crowd – “Dummies run with dummies,” he said – and didn’t come to recognize and value the “power” of education until later in his life.
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Education, Henderson said, is “how you become successful. That’s how you become a boss.”
EdVenture’s daylong “Be A Boss” event was aimed at encouraging middle school-aged children to strive for success and featured workshop sessions with Henderson and area community leaders.
Reach Ellis at (803) 771-8307.