As part of Wickenburg JAG’s recurring employer engagement presentations and site visits, one of their first ones was hosted locally at C&C’s Baking Studio. The visit included a presentation and tour from the business owners, Cheryl and Caitlin Kohnke, and students had the chance to decorate cookies to enjoy afterwards.
During the presentation, Cheryl and Caitlin shared that their business originally started from their hobby and love for baking. Their hobby then evolved into a home-based bakery and finally, their current baking studio. This was particularly inspiring to a few of the JAG students.
“They turned one of their hobbies into a whole career based off of just doing it from their house!” JAG junior Elena Dupont shared.
“They went to college and decided they wanted to start a new career. They went outside of their major and just did what they liked,” JAG senior Olyvia Larios added.
Both business owners graduated from Wickenburg High School, and one of them even graduated recently and attended University of Arizona. They shared in their presentation how despite receiving a degree in a field that wasn't related to baking or business, they didn't let this stop them.
Their background is inspiring for students who often find themselves wanting to leave their community after high school. For some students, they may not be able to move immediately after high school due to financial constraints, familial obligations, or other factors. When Cheryl and Caitlin shared their stories, they provided students with insight into how they might approach their own goals after high school and that they too can be successful in their community.
Another part of the presentation included all things related to small business such as how to start one, the importance of networking and reputation-building, and the benefits of social media.
JAG senior Sierrah Kinde was inspired by the presentation because not only did she learn about how to start a small business, she also learned about how the recipe for successfully creating a career out of a hobby/passion requires motivation as one of the key ingredients.
“I liked learning about the inspiration behind starting their own bakery. It’s not often that you get to know about the insight behind a person’s choices that led to that. It was really intriguing to learn about.”
Aside from learning about another career exploration option available to them, the students also learned about internship opportunities they could pursue if they want to establish a career path in a baking studio.
Wickenburg JAG Coordinator Rachel Willis chose this employer as one of their first visits so her students interested in this career path could learn more, and to show the job/career opportunities available in their community.
“We live in a super generous community, so they are more than willing to share their skills and passions with the kids….We have lots of those kinds of stories here [like Cheryl and Caitlin’s], and I feel like I just get to be the tour guide for kids and help introduce them to inspiring people.”
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