About The Foxes Boxes Externship Academy

The TFB Externship Academy will add to the vibrant hospitality and service industry with a talent pipeline of confident, motivated, qualified job candidates.


TFB Externship Academy aims to inspire and empower individuals with employment barriers by providing innovative on-the-job training, building leadership, communications, and job skills that lead to self-sufficiency, professional fulfillment, and a confident value-added workforce for the always growing hospitality and service


TFB Externship Academy will add to the vibrant hospitality and service industry with a talent pipeline of confident, motivated, qualified job candidates.


TFB Externship Academy Values

▪ Opportunity for All
▪ Integrity
▪ Creativity
▪ Work Ethic
▪ Self-Discovery
▪ Community Engagement

What We Do

The TFB Externship Academy is designed to prepare graduates for entry into mid-level employment opportunities in the hospitality, restaurant, and other service-related fields. By the end of the program, the extern should understand what the expectations of future employers will be, as well as what the externs’ should seek from the employer. The training will focus on tangible skills including Top Box Guests Service, industry standards relating to food safety, restaurant vocabulary, Steps of Service, as well as rudimentary culinary skills. Externs will also learn workplace decorum, strategies relating to communications with supervisors, harassment and discrimination policies, and approaches for conflict resolution. Externs are introduced to focused-based, action-oriented goal setting to foster personal accountability and self-disciplined leadership. The program is delineated into three progressive phases.

Phase Teach

Phase Teach, introduces the opportunities with a career in the hospitality and service industry. Externs will be introduced to expected work place behaviors, interpersonal communications, conflict resolution, and personal accountability through goal setting. Learning modules as well as hands on experience will be utilized for meeting the objectives of Phase Teach. Externs will maintain the dining room to exceed guest expectations and learn how to manage the dishroom by industry standards.

Phase Foundation

In Phase Foundation externs will continue building skills from prior weeks, with an enhanced focus on food safety and hygiene. Through exercises and strategies, externs will grow their understanding and ability to execute highest levels of service standards. Externs will be introduced to the culinary side of operations, learning basic skills ranging from knife use, measuring, follow-the-recipe, mice en plac, and food prep. Externs will be introduced to giving and receiving feedback through mid-term peer reviews. In Phase Foundation focus will be given to creating sustainable workplace behaviors that help the extern
shine as an employee.

Phase Beyond the Externship

Phase Beyond the Externship requires externs to demonstrate their ability to embark on a position in the industry. Food and Beverage knowledge will be introduced to expand on previous topics learned throughout the program. Externs will complete a goal workshop utilizing SMART goals with three to five goals to execute immediately. Preparations for interviews will begin with role play exercises involving communications with employer through various technologies (phone, email, in-person). Once signed off, externs will begin application process with The Foxes Boxes preferred partners and others.

Inside TFB Externship Academy

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Extern Success Stories


Jakeema Boykin, TFBXA Graduate

– Cohort #1, May 2017

Jakeema was the perfect candidate to launch the TFBXA Career Path program—she was passionate, and motivated to change the direction of her life. Everyday Jakeema walked through the door with a “teach me” attitude and took advantage of all the program had to offer—in her own words, “you get what you put in”. During the eight weeks in the program, Jakeema learned how to network, advocate for herself and her community, provide exceptional customer service, and make her way around the kitchen!

Jakeema admits to not always making the best decisions through her teen and young adult years. When she started the TFBXA Career Path program she felt it was time to “take responsibility and be accountable” –from day one she utilized every opportunity presented to her to the fullest. She worked daily in her journal, focusing on the SMART goals she set for herself. Jakeema’s dream is to be a playwright someday telling her own personal story (we will not give the story away here). The Foxes Boxes being a popular community restaurant, often puts externs in front of change makers. Jakeema was able to make connections with a group of female filmmakers and writers who planted a seed—one day her story will be told!

While at The Foxes Boxes, Jakeema transitioned to full-time work, re-entered her program at Cape Fear Community College, and attended programs with community partners for ongoing support. To this day Jakeema continues to bring her bright smile through the doors providing valuable support to new externs. Jakeema is a special soul—we can’t wait to see where the world takes her!!

“The events of my life started to make me feel like I would never be able to do work in a job where I help people. Being in the program at The Foxes Boxes helped bring me back to that love. Now, I want to get my GED and pursue a career in nursing. This isn’t a regular job; it’s so much more. You have to be self-motivated. You have to want it and have to be focused. It’s a privilege to work here. It’s for people trying make something out of themselves.”

Extern from A Safe Place

Devin Jackson, TFBXA Graduate

– Cohort #2, Summer 2017

When we are asked to share what success looks like, we talk about Devin! This shining star has went through most of his life under the radar—Devin is soft-spoken, kind-hearted, and practical. Opposite of Jakeema, he did not walk through door full of energy, instead he observed and quietly soaked in skills like a sponge. Then, going outside of his comfort zone he took risks that have really paid off!

Devin came to The Foxes Boxes through a community jobs program as a rising senior in high school. He had done a little carpentry work in the past, but learning food service was a totally new experience. At the end of each shift we knew Devin was exhausted. Initiating conversations with customers was not easy for him, yet every day he showed up! And keep in mind this kid rode the public bus to and from the restaurant every day—never missing a shift!

Once his eight-week program was over he returned to high school with more confidence and motivation to graduate. He kept in touch with us and even used the restaurant for his Senior Project—he can build and repair computers! This tech talent is definitely part of Devin’s future.

When you ask Devin what he learned he replies, “if you’re going to work here, then you have to be dedicated and willing to work.” This transferable skill has made Devin an exceptional candidate for any job. Devin has now graduated high school (woot! woot!), transitioned to living independently, as well as into a stable job at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where he recently celebrated a one-year anniversary. Important to share, Devin also volunteered for the Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Dorian Storm Team at NHRMC!

None of these successes were easy. Devin has had obstacles that most young people will never have to experience, but he perseveres and keeps moving forward. We are so proud of all that he has accomplished and for what is yet to come!!

Cassie Garrett, TFBXA Graduate

– Cohort #4, fall 2018

If a positive attitude can take you far, then the sky is the limit
for Cassie! Many people find The Foxes Boxes like anyone
discovers new restaurants—Google, Yelp, etc., and have no
idea what is happening behind the scenes with the TFB
Externship Academy. That is exactly how Cassie learned of the
TFBXA Career Path program. Her Uncle and Aunt were having a
lunch date when they learned about our externship. Cassie had
grown up in and out of the Foster Care system and recently
moved in with her Uncle and Aunt after turning 18 years old.

This transitional time is always fragile for young adults with employment barriers. Cassie did not have a high school degree
and minimal job skills, but a charming personality and motivation to improve her future have put her on the path to success. Cassie participated in the TFBXA Career Path program through Hurricane Florence and simply rose the occasion! During her time at The Foxes Boxes she utilized all resources from our community partners, never missed an appointment with her GED tutor, and set realistic goals that she has achieved beyond what she thought possible.

This rock star transitioned into work and quickly became a leader in her position. she has been identified as a strong candidate for management! With her GED in hand she is focused on attending CFCC in 2020 with her sights on the Social Program at UNCW in the future. We continue to support Cassie in all of her efforts and love the example and hope she has provided so many who have lived similar experiences. So many will benefit from Ms. Cassie for years to come!


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