Starting a nonprofit is no easy endeavor, but local college professor and consultant with a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology, didn’t shy away.
With a strong desire to make a difference in her community and a strong understanding of what the community needs, Robin Goins founded Smooth Transition Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides at-risk students a gateway toward empowerment as well as educational and employment opportunities. With a goal of preventing students from re-entering the foster and judicial systems, and repeating at-risk, poverty and homelessness cycles, Goins was ready to brave the challenge, but had no idea how quickly the program would grow.
“My heart lies in education and teaching diverse groups across all levels,” says Goins. “What made Smooth Transition Inc. work was focusing on the real need, not what we think it is. People need education. They are hungry. They are desperate.”
While Smooth Transition was already offering life skills, computer skills, small-business strategies, Goin discovered that twenty-four percent of new jobs are forecast to be in the hospitality industry. Upon that realization, Goins began to develop a Culinary Institute that offered certificate-level skills at an accelerated pace; completing accreditation in as little as six months while including 72 hours of internship in a working restaurant.
While other culinary programming would be too expensive for the community she longed to serve, Goins created a Culinary Arts Vocation Certification Training Program geared toward low-income and at-risk students.
“I knew it was going to be a good program, but I had no idea there would be such a high demand. All of a sudden, I’m in the restaurant business!”
A 2013 Community Impact Grant from The Community Foundation funded scholarships for attendance in the Culinary Arts Vocation Certification Training Program and the first class graduated in May; with 60 percent of those students already working.
While the institute will require donated manpower, kitchen equipment and scholarship funding as it grows, Robin Goins’ vision and goal for Smooth Transitions and the Culinary Arts Vocation Certification Training Program is a reflection of Riverside’s commitment to unite a diverse community to promote the common good for all.
To learn more about Smooth Transition Inc., to volunteer or donate, visit www.smoothtransitioninc.com or call 951-263-9392.
Read the complete article as published in the Press Enterprise, here.