Julian Tillery participates in the My Place Teen Center’s restaurant training program. Here Tillery adds olive oil to potatoes before they’re sprinkled with herbs, salt and pepper, then baked. Contributed / My Place Teen Center

High five for teen center restaurant training program

My Place Teen Center in Westbrook is celebrating its fifth year of offering its successful Restaurant Job Training Program to at-risk middle and high school youth.

Embedding STEM principles, leadership building blocks, and financial literacy practices, the program gives teens at My Place Teen Center the opportunity to train as cooks, servers, bussers, hosts and dishwashers in a restaurant-like environment, preparing meals in the teaching kitchen and serving meals to their fellow teens in the center’s dining room.

“We developed the RJTP to, one, meet basic needs – feeding daily meals to hungry kids; two, give vulnerable youth a sense of purpose and belonging in a loving, supportive, albeit demanding environment; three, provide them with pertinent, translatable job and life skills; and four, mentor their emotional health and well-being via small group culinary instruction and programming,” MPTC president and CEO Donna Dwyer said in a news release.

“(The program) operates as if teens are employed in real-world restaurant jobs, with the expectation teens are present, punctual and willing to learn,” Dwyer said. “RJTP students are required to fill out job applications, prepare for interviews, fill timecards, complete kitchen and dining room chores, precisely follow recipes and prep lists, prepare healthy snacks, meals and desserts, and take and deliver meal and beverage orders to teens and MPTC staff.”

The next time you’re out for dinner, you might just be served by an RJTP alum from My Place Teen Center, Dwyer said. The center also has a location in Biddeford.


The center, opened in 1998, celebrates 25 years of providing a community, support and resources for youth ages 10 to 18.

For more information, visit myplaceteencenter.org.

Weather forecaster Sarah Long packs ’em in at Westbrook Historical Society meeting. Contributed / Mark Swett

Record attendance to hear meteorologist’s travels

WMTW meteorologist Sarah Long drew a standing-room only crowd as the featured speaker at the Westbrook Historical Society meeting on Feb. 1.

Long spoke and shared photos and videos of her recent visit to Antarctica and her time on Mt. Washington, said Lorraine Glidden, the society’s secretary. She talked about the summit’s resident cat, wind speeds, and Channel 8’s iconic, former weather forecaster Marty Engstrom, known as Marty on the Mountain.

Historical society President Mike Sanphy said 85 people turned out to the event, setting a society record.

Library Valentine’s tea

Join a Valentine’s Day tea party from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Walker Memorial Library, 800 Main St.

The Library Friends host the event, complete with crafts, light refreshments and music.

To learn more, call 854-0630.

50 Years Ago

The American Journal reported on Feb. 14, 1973, that Lois Moore, Florence Townsend and Leora Webb were to receive 25-year certificates as members of Saccarappa Grange when it met on Feb. 17.

Comments are not available on this story.