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Culinary Alum Enjoys a Taste of Success

Juggling an average of 22,000 student meals each day, Stephanie Bruce credits her preparation at College of the Desert for a successful culinary career. 

At age 23, Stephanie Bruce decided to enroll in College of the Desert’s (COD) culinary arts program after her parents retired in Palm Springs. She credits the College for giving her the foundation she needed in order to build a career in culinary arts.

“I got all the basics at College of the Desert, which really helped me to excel when I transferred to Cal Pomona,” Stephanie continues. “And I have to say, my most memorable professors were right here at COD. The local culinary program is truly respected in this business, and it’s the most impressive part of my resume.”

Following her education, Stephanie took a job with the Yucaipa/Calimesa School District and really developed a passion for providing nutritional lunches to kids.

Stephanie explains that the challenge of balancing healthy foods that taste good for students of a variety of ages and palates is one she finds very rewarding.

Stephanie joined Palm Springs Unified School District in July 2013 as Director of Nutrition Services. The COD culinary alum oversees the planning, preparation and serving of an average 22,000 meals per day.

“I’ll go out and sit at the lunch tables with second and third graders to get their feedback,” Stephanie says. “They’re so honest, but what I love most is that nine times out of 10, what they have to say is really positive. It’s the best part of my day!”

Stephanie adds that what she appreciated most about her time at the desert’s community college was how they encouraged students to be active participants in the community. Working with students, faculty, parents and local partners to promote healthy eating and active living for the next generation is one of the best parts of her job. 

Everywhere you look in our community, COD and the Foundation have helped change lives for the better through higher education. You’ll find many ways you can change lives and our community for the better here on our site and in our Guide to Giving section. Or, call us at the Foundation, 760-773-2561.