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Coqobon: An Unconventional Taste of Soul Vendor
By Chelsea Battle, Contributing Writer
Published August 3, 2013

Bourbon Roast is on the menu at Coqobon, a creole cuisine catering company, which sponsors at risk teenage girls.

The creole style catering company uses its funds to help at risk girls.

 Many Taste of Soul vendors see the event as lucrative opportunity to market their restaurants and sell food to hundreds of thousands of people. Nadia Mitchell, the owner of Coqobon, a creole cuisine catering company, sees it as a way to sponsor at risk teenage girls. All of the money she raises through her company goes back into her non -profit organization, “Young Ladies With Potential.”

The services of this mentorship program run the gamut. For the last 20 years, Mitchell has been providing literacy workshops, employment opportunities, life skills and sex education workshops, food, and housing for over 200 girls ranging from the ages of 11 to 19 years old.  Typically the costs for each mentee for a year of service are well over $1200 dollars per person. “I’ve been running the organization for the last 20 years in Irvine,” Mitchell explains. “I recently moved to Los Angeles to expand it. We need a home for the girls. So the catering, I’ve been doing, is helping me to do that. I fund the program from my own pockets and I work 3 jobs to do it. We mentor them, keep them off the streets, and give them a home.”

Schools, churches, and other programs reach out to Young Ladies With Potential (YLWP) when they come across young ladies who they feel can benefit from the program. Other times she actually finds them out on the streets. Using the C.A.M.P structural model, an acronym that stands for counseling, advocacy, mentorship and prevention, the mentees are also educated about sexually transmitted diseases, prevention, and protection.

For the “Taste of Soul” and during the “Taste of the Taste of Soul” event during the BET Experience, some of the girls learned how to prepare the food that Mitchell served at the event. All of the proceeds from both events will go back into YLWP. Through Coqobon, which is French for chicken and white wine, YLWP also provides employment opportunities while the students also learn food preparation techniques.

The ever passionate Mitchell hopes that this year’s festival will be a huge success so that she can continue to do what she loves the most-helping others who need it the most. To learn more about the program call (949) 973-1121.



Categories: Crenshaw & Around

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