When Michael Caridi, Chairman of the Board of the Vincent Grupusso Foundation first heard of Lavelle Prep and New Ventures Charter Schools, he was intrigued.  Upon learning about the school’s mission and goals he was particularly struck by the concept of giving students a second chance, especially those over aged and under credited by traditional high school standards. 

With this in mind, Caridi viewed th
is as an opportunity to partner and provide support. Through generous sponsorship from the Kozy Shack Puddin’ Kids 1st Vincent Gruppuso Foundation initiative, ICS now has the financial support for New Ventures Charter School to offer a new Culinary Arts Program, where students are exposed to education within the culinary field and setting. 

The Puddin Kids 1st Vincent Grupusso Foundation, founded in 2009, was created in honor of Kozy Shack founder and businessman Vincent Grupusso, a native New Yorker whose love of a local rice pudding sparked the creation of a multimillion-dollar company known today as Kozy Shack in 1967.

As a private foundation that discreetly offers support to underprivileged children, children in need and providing them with much deserved second chances, the foundation is proud to support New Ventures in the new culinary endeavors, and the program has officially begun with much success.

Currently, 15 New Ventures students are now experiencing innovative coursework that spans Gastronomic Literature, the Global History of Food, Ecology and the Food Chain, Chemistry of Cooking, Microeconomics of Food Production, and more. All courses also provide cross-curricular connections for further engagement and meaning. Students are actively earning their Food Handlers Certification through the Culinary Boot Camp.

We’d like to emphatically express our gratitude in thanking the Vincent Gruppuso Foundation, Kozy Shack Puddin’ Kids 1st, and Michael Caridi for being champions of ICS, our mission, and our promise.