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Tue Oct 20, 2015, 05:53 PM

Formerly homeless man now owns three restaurants

Trials and tribulations are two words that Darnell Ferguson knows all too well. The 28 year-old has struggled with incarceration, homelessness and a lack of self-control throughout his short span as an adult. His life was spiraling out of control quickly and just when things seemed to be at their worst – he made a last-ditch effort and walked into a local church – changing his life forever.

Ferguson was born in Philadelphia but his family relocated to Columbus, OH when he was young. He was raised by his mom and step-dad and credits them for providing him with a very good life. Despite having great parents – Ferguson struggled throughout high school and was on the verge of failing out. During his junior year he decided to transfer to a vocational high school in the Columbus area that offered courses in Culinary Arts.

Ferguson had finally found his niche. He graduated from vocational school and was recruited by Sullivan University in Louisville KY in 2005. He arrived on campus eager to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class chef but was quickly disappointed after discovering that he was only eligible for partial academic funding. Due to his lack of income – he could only afford to enroll in a few evening courses – which was frustrating – and he considered dropping out.

Deciding to ‘tough it out’ – Ferguson eventually transferred to courses during the day and excelled in Sullivan’s Culinary Arts program. His diligence led to him being chosen to be a part of the 2008 Olympic Team in Beijing China. Ferguson was ecstatic by the selection and honored upon discovering that out of the thousands that applied – 22 amateur chefs were selected – and only two of those were African-American.


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