Local restaurant partners with a Dothan school on herb garden project

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DOTHAN,Ala.– The Dothan Technology Center held a groundbreaking ceremony on its campus today.

The center has partnered with a local restaurant chain to start a new project.

“It’s called HOPE which is an acronym meaning Herbs Offering Personal Enrichment,” said Tazikis owner Jason Parkman.

Tazikis Mediterranean Grill has partnered with Dothan Technology Center on a new venture.

The HOPE project will allow students in the stars class to plant herbs.

Owner Jason Parkman hopes this will bring opportunities to the students.

“The basis of it is to allow special needs and at risk students the ability to start doing tasks and jobs that can help them perform when they reach adulthood,” said Parkman.

The idea came about when Northview student Emmie Petranka was eating at Tazikis where she met Parkman and learned about the project.

“I said OK here’s my number, let me know what’s going on,” said Parkman.

“And so I told him I would love to get this started there and bring it down we have a greenhouse at Dothan Technology Center and i think it would be a great opportunity for them.

 I loved what hope does for them how it gives them a goal and how once they reach that goal it gives them accomplishments,” said Emmie Petranka, Northview student.

Students will plant the herbs, watch them grow, then sell them back to Tazikis at market price.

“The stars class will be planting in this green house cilantro, parsley, and basil just to name a few.

“The stars kids are going to be focusing on the cilantro because it’s a faster growing plant, easier to maintain right now,” said Parkman.

What do the students think about the project?

“I think it’s awesome! Tazikis gave us a box and plants and its going to be a new journey,” said Gracie Holmes, Stars student.

This will be something that will not only affect them now but in the future as well.

“They have value to enrich other peoples live as well not only themselves because what they do here is a foundation about learning to do business in the outside world,” said Parkman.

“I’m really excited to see how that’s going to impact them and how it’s going to impact this community even after they graduate they’re still going to have something,” said Petranka.

Currently there are nine active hope projects with many more to come.

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