Proprietary colleges in New York and elsewhere around the country focus every day on delivering exceptional educational opportunities to students. For the vast majority of individuals who enroll in these programs, the experience is no doubt profoundly positive and life-changing.

Take, for instance, James Robinson – a 30-year-old chef and culinary professional who has overcame years of homelessness and was chosen as one of 18 contestants on the currently airing season of celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsey’s popular TV show, “Hell’s Kitchen.” His story was recently brought to light in an article in the Washington Post, which highlights his culinary achievements, despite being homeless during several points in his life since age 12.

Homeless after having to leave his mother’s apartment following high school graduation, Chef Robinson wandered onto the campus of Monroe College, a proprietary college in the Bronx and New Rochelle that has an award-winning culinary arts program (you can read more about Monroe in our previous blog post here). Intrigued, he enrolled on a full scholarship, graduated in 2006 with a degree in culinary arts, and soon began his career as a line cook at The Ritz-Carlton in Arlington, Virginia.

Chef Robinson has gone on to achieve notable career success, founding KitchenCray, a popular private chef and events company in Washington, D.C. His cooking has won him recognition from several big names, including New York Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire, former talk show host Bethenny Frankel, and comedian D.L. Hughley.

Needless to say, Chef Robinson’s story is quite remarkable – and a perfect example of the positive impact that proprietary colleges have every day. His full scholarship to Monroe not only helped finance an education he might not have otherwise been able to receive, but played a vital role in helping him become gainfully employed after graduating. So, kudos to Chef Robinson on his success – and kudos to the Washington Post for shedding light on the good that exists at a proprietary college.

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