Training and Internship

What is The Lily Pad Cafe Training and Internship Program?

The Lily Pad is now one of the first Affiliate Partners of Hugs Cafe, Inc. in McKinney, Texas. With over 9 years of employment and job carving success, Hugs Cafe, Inc. has taken their vocational training beyond those they currently employ. They have expanded Hugs Café, Inc. to now include Hugs Training Academy; an educational training center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who seek to be employed in the food service and hospitality industries. As an affiliate partner, The Lily Pad is bringing the Hugs Cafe Training Academy program to Ridgeland, MS, through The Lily Pad Cafe, with a training and internship program.



About our Program

The Lily Pad Training and Internship serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages 18 and above.

Upon acceptance into the Lily Pad Training Program, individuals will begin with educational coursework from the Hugs Training Academy program. Once the educational coursework has been completed and the individual has graduated from the training program, trainees will be evaluated for internship opportunities at The Lily Pad. During this paid internship, our interns will get hands on restaurant experience through daily lunch service once we open to the general public.

Once an intern has reached their potential and gained employable and valuable skills, The Lily Pad will work with it's employment partners to transition each intern to local businesses throughout the community for purposeful employment.



The Curriculum

The Lily Pad Training curriculum from Hugs Training Academy is focused on providing entry level skills to students so they are ready to enter the workforce in the culinary or hospitably fields upon program completion. Subject covered with The Lily Pad Training Program include:

Personal Responsibility




Customer Service

Industry and Work Specific Skills

Food Prep

Knife Skills





How To Become A Trainee

Step 1 Fill out Lily Pad Trainee Program Application Below.

Step 2 Be contacted by a member of the Lily Pad team to schedule an in-person assessment and student interview.

Step 3 Complete in-person assessment and interview. Provide necessary supporting documents as communicated by the The Lily Pad Team.

Step 4 Receive notice of program acceptance or recommendations and referrals.

Step 5  Upon program acceptance, begin Lily Pad Training Program on scheduled start date provided by The Lily Pad.

Step 6  Graduate from Lily Pad Training Program and begin Lily Pad Internship Program on scheduled start date provided by The Lily Pad.

Step 7  Intern LEAPS into the community into a purposeful employment role with one of The Lily Pad's Employment Partners.


The online application period for our first cohort has closed.