Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant to Hialeah High School ProStart Program

~ Funds will allow for major transformation for culinary program through new commercial grade kitchen equipment ~ 

TALLAHASSEEToday, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) announced the awarding of a $50,000 Kitchen Remodel Grant for the Hialeah High School ProStart Program in Miami-Dade County.

Hialeah High School was selected from more than 200 ProStart participant high schools across Florida. Grant applicants highlighted their facility size, number of program participants, age of their facility, and repairs needed. The FRLAEF board reviewed the applications to determine where the grant would be most impactful. Hialeah High School is the first school to win the award in Miami-Dade County.

“The FRLA Education Foundation has always been a great supporter of Florida’s high school ProStart and HTM (Hotel and Tourism Management) programs through annual mini-grants, but it is especially gratifying to make an even larger impact with this $50,000 kitchen makeover,” said Nick Velardo, Chairman of the Board for the FRLA Educational Foundation. “Hialeah High School is well-deserving, and we are so happy to be able to support their dedicated teachers and students.”

“This has been such a dream come true,” said Kathy Gonzalez, Culinary Academy Leader and ProStart Advisor at Hialeah High School. “We have an amazing culinary program here at Hialeah High, and this is going to take us to the next level. Our kitchen was originally built in 1954, and, while there have been some upgrades, they have been nothing like this grant is going to provide. The FRLAEF/ProStart program provides such professionalism and opportunities for our students. We are so thankful!”

The ProStart program is a nationwide, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s foodservice industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world opportunities and builds practical skills and career foundations that will last a lifetime. In Florida, there are more than 30,000 ProStart students.


About FRLA

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Founded in 1946 as the Florida Restaurant Association, FRLA merged with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association in 2006. FRLA’s more than 10,000 members include independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, household name franchises, theme parks and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate and promote Florida’s nearly $112 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.5 million employees. Dedicated to safeguarding the needs of the membership, FRLA provides legislative advocacy to ensure the voices of its members are heard and their interests are protected. The association offers regulatory compliance and food safety training through SafeStaff® and FRLA’s subsidiary, RCS Training. The FRLA Educational Foundation provides industry-developed, career-building high school programs throughout the state.