Local culinary arts school for students with special needs seeks enrollment for next school year

(WXYZ) - Rising Stars Academy, a non-profit culinary arts school for students with special needs, is seeking enrollment for the next school year.

The school is the first of its kind in Michigan.

"We're going to teach our kids the culinary, but also the agroscience...so they can actually cook their own food and learn how to eat healthy," said Rising Stars Academy Founder Mark Prentiss back in July before the school's grand opening.

Prentiss,  a chef and educator, transformed a closed elementary school in Center Line into a cooking haven, giving the students the opportunity to grow their own food, cook and learn social skills.

"This is very nice options for parents to have and this is an enjoyable activity—culinary arts is a fun thing for the kids to do and it's a life skill," said Annette Duda, one student's mother. 

The main goal is to get the students who are 18 to 26 out into the workforce within two years. The academy is working with big names in the food industry, like Buffalo Wild Wings and Jet's Pizza, to help train the students off site.

Aside from teaching students how to cook and prepare food, Rising Stars Academy aims to boost the self confidence of everyone who enrolls.

The academy also has a restaurant along with a community garden.

There are requirements for enrollment. The student has to be 18-26 and have a certificate of completion from high school. They also need to live in Oakland, Wayne or Macomb County.

BlackFinn in Royal Oak is a sponsor of Rising Stars Academy and is allowing them to talk about their school at the restaurant's launch party this Friday. RSA students will also be at the party to help serve food. 

On March 28, the academy is hosting a culinary showcase at the school. Tickets are $25 and there will be strolling appetizers, drinks and food served by the students. They will also give guided tours of the facility. 

To find out more about enrollment or the academy's upcoming events go here: http://www.risingstars2013.com/

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