This clip is 10 years oldand we're still having this same,lame argument.
This story was originally shared on Capital One.
Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.
"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.
While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.
Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.
La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.
That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.
Photo courtesy of Capital One
The organization also offers participants the opportunity to enroll in its Culinary Small Business Incubator, a 9-week training course that teaches participants to create and scale their own food-based startups.
During that program, LA Cocina VA provides participants with support for developing the internal operations of their businesses and provides a shared kitchen for community members to rent space at affordable rates.
Patricia Funegra, who founded La Cocina VA in 2014, said that helping people like Klohr is exactly why she wanted to create the incubator.
"I have firsthand experience of the difficulties of being an immigrant and person of color in America," said Funegra. "At the same time, I also know the enormous opportunities that exist here to improve people's lives."
With the help of funding from Capital One, the center has been able to support 160 participants since opening with roughly 85% of graduates being hired for jobs in the food industry upon completion.
La Cocina VA also received support from Capital One's Community Finance team as it provided financing for the construction of Gilliam Place, an affordable housing unit in which La Cocina VA moved its operations into in 2020.
After moving into Gilliam Place, Funegra launched the Zero Barriers Training and Entrepreneurship Center, a hub for startup founders that includes a kitchen incubator and a community cafe to provide workforce development opportunities for residents.
That support comes as part of the Capital One Impact Initiative, a multi-million dollar commitment to support growth in underserved communities and advance socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity.
La Cocina VA students also worked alongside Capital One Cafe ambassadors to learn skills in management and personal finance.
Photo courtesy of Capital One
"The COVID-19 pandemic forced entrepreneurs, especially people of color and immigrants, to shift their entire business models just to survive," said Emilia Lopez, the Senior Vice President of US Card Customer Resiliency, who serves on La Cocina VA's Board of Directors. "As a La Cocina VA board member, I am proud of the commitment and support Capital One provides La Cocina VA and thankful for their effort this past year to help entrepreneurs quickly adapt their businesses to support alternative dining options."
La Cocina VA is also in constant communication with employers, partners, hotels and restaurants to make them aware of their pipeline of graduates.
"La Cocina VA taught me not just the physical work that goes into baking and cooking but also how to have a good understanding to mentally and financially launch my business," said Klohr. "They're helping me make those connections and I know they'll always have my back."
Conservative media in the United States has painted Australia as a state on the brink of authoritarianism due to strict COVID-19 protections in some parts of the country. These news outlets appear to be using the country as an example of what can happen in America if liberal politicians go unchecked.
Fox News' Tucker Carlson ran a story on Australia earlier this month claiming the country "looks a lot like China did at the beginning of the pandemic." He ended it by saying that "what's happening in Australia might be instructive to us in the United States" and that things can "change very quickly" and become "dystopian and autocratic."
Carlson provides zero reasons why Americans should be fearful of becoming an autocratic country due to COVID-19, beyond the idea that "things can change very quickly" so his appeals sound a lot more like fear-mongering than genuine concern.
Florida governor Ron De Santis–whose state's COVID-19 death rate is some 50 times Australia's–suggested that the U.S. should reconsider its diplomatic relations with Australia, asking whether it was freer than China.
While conservative media in the U.S. bemoans the state of Australia, people living Down Under don't care much for their concerns. Polls show that the vast majority of Australians support vaccine mandates, presumably because they don't want their fellow countrymen to die.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz got in on the Australia bashing last week when he posted a tweet featuring a video of Australia's Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner announcing the country's latest vaccine mandates.
Gunner had announced that anyone who serves the public in hospitality, gyms, retail or any other customer-facing industries must get their first coronavirus vaccine within a month or face a $3,750 (5000 Australian dollars) fine.
"I love the Aussies. Their history of rugged independence is legendary; I've always said Australia is the Texas of the Pacific," Cruz wrote before adding, "The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful and sad. Individual liberty matters. I stand with the people of Australia."
Gunner responded to Cruz on Twitter, educating him on the effectiveness of vaccines and how compared to Australia, Texas is a complete disaster when it comes to protecting people from the virus.
G’day from Down Under @tedcruz. Thanks for your interest in the Territory. I’m the Chief Minister. Below are a few… https://t.co/kOI3wRqTtb— Michael Gunner (@Michael Gunner) 1634528825.0
"Hey Ted Cruz, g'day from the Northern Territory in Australia. Here are some facts. Nearly 70,000 Texans have tragically died from COVID. There have been zero deaths in the Territory. Did you know that?" he wrote before adding, "Vaccination is so important here because we have vulnerable communities and the oldest continuous living culture on the planet to protect. Did you know that?"
He then added, "We don't need your lectures, thanks mate. You know nothing about us. And if you stand against a life-saving vaccine, then you sure as hell don't stand with Australia. I love Texas (go Longhorns), but when it comes to COVID, I'm glad we are nothing like you."
The difference between Texas and Australia is staggering when it comes to the number of people who've died due to COVID-19. Australia has a population of 25.7 million and has had 147,275 total cases and 1,558 total deaths due to COVID-19.
Texas, on the other hand, has a similar population of 29 million but has 3,474,092 cases and 68,043 fatalities. That's more than 45 times the death rate.
Cruz can bash Australia all he wants, but if he actually loved the people of Texas, he'd care a bit more about their health. Few people have much use for liberty when they're dead or stuck on a ventilator.
When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.
Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.
"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."
Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."
That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."