We’ve all heard the saying about the month of March. “It comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” Well, March 2020 definitely lived up to its reputation! COVID19 brought everything to a screeching halt and we have all been challenged to approach our day to day lives from a different perspective.

Flexibility is Critical

Nothing ever stays the same….change is the only thing that is constant. If you are honest with yourself, some of the changes you have had to make because of COVID19 have actually improved your life. We feel the same way at OGI. When we were faced with no longer being able to meet in person to teach our culinary students, we adjusted to a computer-generated classroom just like everyone else. However, we were always keeping in the back of our minds how we could find a way to safely come back together as soon as possible.

Was it different? Yes. Was it difficult? Yes. Did we make it happen anyway? Yes!! The one life skill that helped us get through was DETERMINATION. OGI students are taught that you can face what seems to be an impossible task, but if you are determined in your mindset, you will watch those impossibilities eventually crumble at your feet. This is a major component of the life skills curriculum at OGI. Shifting to a determined mindset helps to begin the process of overcoming past traumas and demolishing barriers that keep our students from achieving their dream of working in the culinary industry.

“If you really want something, you can figure out how to make it happen.” – Cher

Computer classrooms provide an alternative for learning, but they don’t replace the camaraderie and the sense of community our students create when they are together. For some, it’s the first time in their entire lives they have been in a healthy environment where they are embraced without judgment.

We are thrilled to be returning to our classroom this month! Have we had to make extreme adjustments in order to protect our students and staff? Yes. Will classes ever be like they were before? I don’t know, but we are determined to graduate this class and escort these amazing individuals into gainful employment.

Determination can mean the difference between success and failure. Give two people the same difficult challenge and depending on their mindset, one will give excuses and one will give results…at OGI, we embrace a mindset of determination and our students around the world are living proof that it works.


Judy Lamborn designed the Life Skills component of OGI’s Culinary Arts Program model currently taught in classrooms around the world.