What makes a great student? A great student listens, asks questions, takes what they have learned inside the classroom (the Sweet P Bakery kitchen) and then applies this knowledge to independent practice outside the classroom. Bonus for bringing in the delicious results to share with the class the next day!

We are very excited to share our first student spotlight featuring Jonathan!

Jonathan travels by bus each day from Bridgeport, CT to Sweet P Bakery with an enthusiasm to learn and a deep sense of belonging.  While in high school, he joined the Reaching Independence Through Supported Education program (R.I.S.E.).  It was at this time that Jonathan trained at the Sacred Heart Kitchen and discovered his passion for baking.  When the program ended, he found himself unsure of his next step and was tasked with finding a job, a challenge for anyone but even more difficult for a young adult with special needs.

Craving a sense of purpose, Jonathan often spent his days riding the Coastal Link bus between New Haven and Greenwich.  This journey became a daily routine for him, providing an escape from the city and establishing a routine.  Jonathan would sit on the bus watching the Connecticut towns go by as he peered through the window, wondering what was next.

Fortunately, Jonathan learned about Sweet P Bakery and decided to explore the opportunity.  During his interview he talked about feeling lost and having nowhere to go.  Jonathan’s mother expressed how she wanted so much more for her son, and her concern that he would be left alone wandering the streets just to fill his time.  It was obvious to everyone that Jonathan needed to join the Sweet P program. We did not want a financial hardship to stand in the way of having Jonathan join the program. We are proud to have been able to offer him a partial scholarship.

It took only a few short weeks for Jonathan to impress the entire team, especially Terri, our Head Pastry Chef.  “Jonathan has been an ideal student. He listens intently to everything that is being presented to him by the instructors as well as from his fellow students.  And like any true baker, he takes pride in his finished product.”  At the end of the first week everyone was asked how they felt the class was going and Jonathan replied with an enthusiastic “I just thought it was fantastic!”

It is an understatement to say that we are all inspired and impressed with Jonathan.  We look forward to tasting more of the baked products he creates at home and continuing to observe him learning even more when he enters our Baking 2 program.  Together, we are truly making it #possible.