ProStart National Competition Cancelled, But Seniors Still Win

ProStart Instructor Mary Levinski's first place culinary team after March statewide competition.

The ultimate competition ProStart students from Sauk Raids-Rice High School had been prepping for most of their senior year isn’t happening. After winning the state competition back in March, both the culinary and management teams were slated to head to Washington, D.C., for the finals. And then COVID-19 closed down the country.

Competing on a national stage is a big deal. "My heart breaks for my seniors," said Mary Levinski, the ProStart instructor for the school. "They are doing something virtual for recognition in June, but it just won't be the same." Levinski had three seniors on her team, which means was their last chance to return national champs. 

But while the culinary team won’t be able to wield their knives on the national stage, they will get the spoils. Thanks to The Coca-Cola Company, Buffalo Wild Wings Foundation and the Burger King McLamore Foundation, the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) is awarding a $1,500 scholarship to each senior on every state’s championship teams. Students were able to claim their scholarships starting May 8.

In addition, the Minnesota teams are receiving $150 American Express gift cards.

And just like their classes have been for the last couple of months of school, the recognition with be virtual, not in person. The NRAEF is hosting a special virtual celebration, NPSI Live, on June 4, featuring guest appearances by celebrity chefs and some of the Foundation’s biggest supporters. The event will be held live on the ProStart Facebook page at 5 p.m. Central

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