Technically, I shouldn’t be here. Immediately after a
complicated birth, I was placed on a respirator. The doctors told my mother
that I wouldn’t make it through the night. Mom prayed and the next morning
was told that even though I had turned a corner, if I ever came off the
respirator, I’d have diminished mental
capabilities, limited mobility,
and serious health problems. A month
later I was beating their predictions to begin a normal, healthy childhood.
Mom sometimes worked three jobs to make ends meet. I wanted
to help her so I started cooking by mastering the microwave. I quickly worked
my way up to bigger and better things. After three years of undergraduate
studies at Texas A&M, with my eye on Harvard Law School, I realized that it
was baking that brought me the greatest joy. I had wanted to go to the best law
school but found my true calling was at the best culinary college.
In addition to the incredible education I’ve received, I
truly enjoy the campus community at the CIA. I’m a member of the Culinary
Christian Fellowship and the Black Culinary Society, and serve as chapter
president of the Eta Sigma Delta honor society. I derive satisfaction from the
charity events we sponsor including: Coats for Coffee—collecting winter clothing for those in need; Giving Tree—
providing holiday gifts for children living in shelters; and Casino
Night—raising funds for Astor House Shelter for abused women and children. The
way I see it, I’m blessed. Through others’ generosity,
I was able to go to Texas A&M and to the CIA. Now I seek
out opportunities to help others and to give back.
As a young child, I was on soccer teams. Even now, I still
enjoy soccer and basketball. I work out and exercise up to two hours every day.
It’s an investment in myself because I know that the stronger and healthier I
am, the more focused I can be at work.
Hopes for the Future
I’m getting married after graduation! We’ll be living in Las
Vegas and working at a hotel. I don’t want to be the next Duff, but I admire
how he’s helped elevate cakes to an art form. I want to make beautiful cakes
for weddings and special occasions and make people happy.
A week before I concluded externship, I fell asleep while
driving home from visiting my mother. I was extracted from the wreckage with
the “jaws-of-life”—once again beating the odds and surviving. The medical bills
from the accident wiped me out; all my savings for school were gone. If not for
the CIA scholarship program, I wouldn’t have finished my associate degree, let
alone be pursuing my bachelor’s degree.