How did you become interested in your major?
From a very young age I had a passion for baking.
As a little girl I always helped my grandma bake for every occasion. I
would always tell my family, “When I grow up I want to be a cooker!” As
life went on I continued to take classes on the side for cake decorating
and started my own not-for-profit business, Minions4Miracles. I was
baking cupcakes and raising money for the Ronald McDonald House at
Children’s Hospital, San Diego. In junior year of high school, I decided
that I wanted to really pursue this career. I took it into my own hands
and got a district transfer to attend a school with a two-year culinary
program. From then on I knew this is what I was meant to do.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue this career?
My grandma—she was always cooking dinner in the house. Every Christmas
we’d make hundreds of cookies to give out to different relatives and
people at my parents’ workplaces. I always looked forward to that time
spent with her and I really loved to bake.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
I wanted the best chance possible to get into the CIA because I knew it was the best place to go
if you wanted to be successful in this industry. For freshman and
sophomore year of high school, I went to the public school that I was
assigned to by the district I belonged to. But since I wanted the best
chance to get into the CIA, I decided on my own to find a new high
school that had a culinary program. My parents did not like the fact
that I was changing schools and told me that if I wanted to do this, I
had to do all of the paperwork needed and complete the process myself. I
did it all and got into Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, CA. It
was the best decision I made throughout high school, and it prepared me
for the CIA.
Why did you choose the CIA?
When researching culinary schools I knew I wanted to go to the best one out there. The CIA offers its students such an amazing program and I wanted to not just get a certificate but to get a degree, and the CIA offers that. I then visited the Greystone campus and immediately fell in love with the people, the school, and the town.
What do you like best about the CIA?
The chefs. When coming to the CIA I was a little scared that the chefs
would be mean, but once I got here I realized right away that they are
some of the most amazing people out there. I have made a bond with all
of my chefs. They are willing to do so much for their students to help
them get the best opportunities and to help them succeed in every way. The chefs are so genuine, and I feel very lucky to learn from such amazing teachers to get the most out of my learning at the CIA.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I am director of community engagement on the SPICE
(Student Programming Igniting Campus Entertainment) board at the CIA at
Greystone. I find ways for the students to help give back to the local
community here in St. Helena.
What are your career goals or plans right after graduation?
I would love to have my own television show on the Food Network one day.
I love to be in front of a crowd and perform, and I love to bake. So,
combining both things would be a dream come true. I would also love to work in all areas of pastry.
I have a new interest in chocolate work and would love to explore that
area more. I do not have a set plan on what area of pastry I want to
commit to and would like to explore the industry. The one goal I have
set for myself is to work hard and to do my best at everything I try.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending the CIA?
If I could give any advice I would say to work hard in all of your
classes and to take every opportunity that you can to work with
different chefs. The chefs at this school are amazing and you can learn
so much from them. I love the CIA—coming here was the best decision I
have ever made.