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The Cameron Thompson Legacy Scholarship

Cameron was a charming and warm young man; his creativity, enthusiasm, and joy were contagious. His passing left a profound impact on his colleagues at The Restaurant at Meadowood, including Christopher and Martina Kostow who together with Cameron’s mother, Tracie, and The Culinary Institute of America, established this scholarship to help increase access to professional culinary training as a pathway toward robust careers in food and hospitality for aspiring African American chefs. 

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The Cameron Thompson Legacy Scholarship

Will support diverse students pursuing the college’s 18-month Associate Degree program. Thanks to this scholarship, students would be able to participate in a rigorous, state-of-the-art, hands-on program in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts under the direction of prominent CIA chef-faculty and instructors.

Scholarships at the CIA

For nearly 75 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been widely recognized as the world’s premier culinary college. The CIA is a private, not-for-profit college, and scholarship support is often the determining factor in a student’s ability to pursue, and complete, a CIA education. The college’s programs provide the foundation of training, knowledge, and skills for professional achievement.

the purpose

The ability to gain the necessary skills to support career advancement in the fine dining world is predicated in great part by financial means- including receiving a formal culinary education, doing unpaid (or lower paid) stages, and having the financial security to choose places of employment based not on wages but on the additional education and experience found therein. These are opportunities many do not have, and without providing access to these resources it will be difficult to achieve the goal of realizing greater representation of people of color in food and hospitality leadership positions. The purpose of this scholarship is to help bridge that gap.

cia + beyond

The fund will offer scholarships in perpetuity in Cameron’s name, and has been designed so that recipients receive full support for tuition and room and board. With an abiding commitment to a recipient’s future success, Chef Christopher Kostow will help each culinary student to engage in meaningful stages at a network of the world’s best restaurants. During this time the students will receive ongoing mentorship with an established group of African American leaders in the industry, and provide assistance with job placement upon graduation.

2024 Recipient

Sariyha D'Angelo

We are thrilled to have recently awarded our second recipient of The Cameron Thompson Legacy Scholarship! Sariyha D’Angelo will be pursuing her Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts at the CIA Hyde Park campus, starting her courses Spring 2024.

Our First Recipient

Devon Henderson

Within its first year of inception, efforts from The Charter Oak team and our generous donors provided the opportunity to award The Legacy Scholarship's first recipient. Devon Henderson attended The Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio and completed his 18-month Associate Degree program in 2023.

"This scholarship has helped me immensely throughout my education at CIA. Not only in terms of financial aid but also the connections I've made with the chefs involved, having the ability to ask questions and have a mentor to talk to when needed." 

- Devon Henderson

A Note from Tracie Thompson

Last year, Cameron’s mother, Tracie, shared a few words about the scholarship and speaks to those who have aspirations to grow within the culinary community.

Read the letter from Tracie and learn more about how you may support The Cameron Thompson Legacy Scholarship.

Read Tracie's Letter

join the effort

We hope you will join us in this effort by making a gift today. Give online through the button below or you may send a check directly to the College. Please contact Brad Whitmore at the CIA with any questions regarding donations at 845-905-4277, or

We thank you in advance for your support in honoring Cameron’s legacy.

The Culinary Institute of America
Accounts Receivable/Cameron Thompson Scholarship
1946 Campus Dr.
Hyde Park, NY 12601

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