Melvin Taylor Is Sparked After Fundraising Dinner Hosted by Usher’s Mom!

Future Chef, Melvin, is one step closer to his dream thanks to Usher’s mom, Jonetta Patton! This month, Ms. Patton hosted a fundraising dinner at Davio’s Restaurant in Atlanta benefitting UNL. For every plate of lobster risotto sold (Ms. Patton’s favorite dish!), UNL received a donation towards our youth leadership programming. UNL President, Yvette Cook, Usher and Grace Raymond were in attendance, accompanied by Melvin Taylor, a 10th grade member of the UNL Atlanta Leadership Academy and aspiring chef. Read what he had to say about the networking and exposure experience below!

What is your spark? What career pathway are you pursuing in UNL?

“My spark is cooking. My career pathway is culinary arts.”

Where are you thinking of attending school after you graduate high school?

“I’m attending the Culinary Institute of America (C.I.A.) in hype town New York when I graduate from high school.”

What is your ultimate goal?

“My ultimate goal in life is to own my own restaurant.”

How was the experience at Davios? Were you exposed to anything new?

“I loved eating at Davios. I had the chance to be exposed to a different culture of people and new food. I got the chance to meet more elegant people and I had octopus and lobster for the first time.”

Who did you meet? Did you make any connections that will benefit you in the future?

“One of the people I met was Mr. Steve DiFillippo. The connection I made will really benefit me in the future, because I have the opportunity to come and work in his prep kitchen and that will give me an early look into all the work it takes to work in a restaurant and owning one.”


Photos by Inije Photography