Throughout its history, the Omaha Restaurant Association Foundation has diligently supported culinary arts and hospitality education. A dedicated board of directors has hosted events, invited donations and raised funds to support scholarships for graduating high school students to follow their passion by pursuing formal higher education in the field.
The ORAF Board is now entrusting the selection and award of these important scholarships to the Metropolitan Community College Foundation, through two new scholarship opportunities to be awarded in the spring and fall of each year, in honor of two founding members of the Omaha Restaurant Association Foundation, Harold Norman and Jack Kawa.
Harold Norman was the first executive director of the Omaha Restaurant Association. Perhaps one of Norman's biggest achievements was the thousands of dollars he raised for scholarships. In 1991, the ORA’s scholarship committee branched off and became the Omaha Restaurant Association Foundation.
Established in 2013, these scholarships are designed to:
- Support first-time or continuing students in any MCC culinary arts and management major with a high school or college GPA of 2.0 or higher at the time of application
- Support full- or part-time students
- Support Omaha residents with financial need as determined by current FAFSA
- One recommendation from an instructor, someone in the food industry or an employer must be uploaded as part of the application
- Pay for tuition, fees, books and other required equipment available at MCC bookstores
Scholarships are usually offered during the spring and fall quarters. Scholarship availability varies depending on donor giving.