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ProStart® Program
ProStart Illinois



ProStart® is a national, two-year program for high school students that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart's® industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills that will last a lifetime. ProStart® serves over 115,000 students nationally and reaches approximately 4,000 students in Illinois.

The curriculum is industry relevant, addresses necessary critical skills, meets Illinois State Board of Education learning standards, and offers nationally recognized certifications. The Illinois ProStart® Program goes beyond providing a curriculum in the classroom by connecting students to industry via field trips, classroom speakers, career camps and more. For more information for students and teachers, see below:

ProStart Invitational: 

Save the Date for the 2017 ProStart Invitational. On Saturday, March 4th the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) will host multiple Culinary and Management teams comprised of high school ProStart® students from across the state to compete in the 16th Annual Illinois ProStart®  Invitational -- a full day of Culinary and Management competitions. The event, to be held at McCormick Place, is supported by Title Sponsor SYSCO-Chicago and Host Sponsor SAVOR...Chicago.

Students will compete for the opportunity to represent Illinois at the National ProStart® Invitational in Charleston, South Caroline where they will compete against teams from 50 states (plus Guam & European military bases). The 1st - 3rd Place teams will win scholarships and prizes. For more information, contact ProStart Program Manager Kayla Hawkins at 312.380.4117 or email


2016 1st Place Culinary and 1st Place Management: Elgin High School


Check out news coverage and videos from the 2016 participating teams!

WGN TV Lunchbreak: 15th Annual ProStart® Invitational: Click Here

Chicago Tribune (Joliet): JCHS Students Participate in 2016 Illinois ProStart Invitational Click Here

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