Harry Colbert had just relocated to Jacksonville, Florida from Iowa when he decided to enroll at Virginia College. He was working in tree service, operating heavy equipment in hot weather. With two sons and a new wife, he was always worried about getting injured on the job.
“I decided to go back to school and pursue my passion in cooking,” he says. “I always loved to cook for my family.”
Going back to school after 20 years was an adjustment. Homework and making sure he planned ahead to ensure he made it to class every day were his biggest challenges.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a good role model for my children,” he says.
After graduating in March 2016 with 100 percent attendance and a 4.0 GPA, Harry went to work as Make Chef at Maple Street Biscuit Company in Jacksonville. Harry uses his talent and creativity to make menu items such as flaky biscuits and deluxe hot sandwiches.
Harry calls Virginia College a blessing, and idolizes his instructors who were there for him and not only helped him develop his skills, but allowed him to recognize that what he does is an art. He believes that it’s important to learn the language of whatever industry you are in and that there are no “part-time learners”.
Harry offers his favorite quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. for those looking for a little inspiration: “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”