By Kim Underwood from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
OCTOBER 25, 2018 – Today, Culinary Arts students at the Career Center baked pink cupcakes and topped them with pink icing. They made pink chocolate-chip cookies. They made pink cookies in the shape of a ribbon. They made pink lemonade.
And students coming to the Career Center to attend classes stopped and bought the pink treats.
It was all part of the Breast Cancer Awareness Week activities sponsored by the school’s chapter of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
“I think it’s important for us to leave our mark,” said chapter president Monserrat Pacheco-Banos. “We may be teenagers but we want to give back to the community – to make it a better place before we go out into the real world.”
This morning, Pacheco-Banos, whose home school is Mount Tabor, was one of the Culinary Arts students zipping around mixing and baking and setting out the finished creations in the lobby at the Career Center.
Although the sale was sponsored by the FCCLA chapter, all the Culinary Arts students in the morning classes participated.
“It’s a team effort,” said Curtis Wilks, whose home school is also Mount Tabor. “Without all of us, it would be impossible to do.”
Bruce Dorsey, whose home school is East Forsyth, and Gabriel Franco, whose home school is Reynolds, said they think it’s a great project.
“It’s a creative way of spreading awareness,” Franco said.
And, while they’re spreading awareness, people get to eat something tasty, Dorsey said.
“It’s something people want to buy,” Franco said.
Jalen Fleming, a Reynolds student who comes to the Career Center for such classes as Allied Health Sciences and AP (Advanced Placement) English, stopped to buy cookies and cinnamon rolls not only for himself but also for friends such as Sara Llano who were coming into the building at the same time.
“Because I’m a nice person,” he said and smiled.
Grace Cadigan and Maggie Richmond both stopped to buy pink chocolate-chip cookies.
Cadigan said that her mother, an aunt, and her grandmother have all had to deal with breast cancer.
“It’s a personal topic so I try to support it when I can,” she said.
Richmond said, “I think it’s good to help others – it’s a cause.”
Reagan is both students’ home school. They come to the Career Center for AP classes.
Derek Callahan, whose home school is Reagan, and Trevor Burns, whose home school is Glenn, were among the Culinary Arts students serving. Both said they enjoy interacting with others.
“I like talking to people – getting to know people,” Burns said. “I’m very social.”
Asked what sorts of questions he might ask someone he just met, he said he might ask about their favorite food or sports. For him, the answers to those questions would be “a hamburger” and “hockey.”
“I like watching hockey in person,” he said.
In addition to setting up tables to sell the treats, students also loaded a cart with treats and rolled it around to some of the classrooms.
The treats were a bargain. For instance, students could buy a pink cupcake or two pink chocolate-chip cookies for $1.
Chef Darlene Owens said that half of the money raised with go to Susan B. Komen, a nonprofit organization that works to fight breast cancer. The other half will go to the Culinary Arts program.
Chef Chad Estep said that, in addition to supporting the fight against breast cancer, the fund-raiser provides a number of other benefits for the students, such as strengthening their customer-service skills and learning how follow a budget when buying supplies.
Activities were planned for all week. Friday is Pink Day, and everyone coming to the Career Center is encouraged to wear something pink.
Activities already held include a competition in which classroom doors were decorated with a “Pink for Breast Cancer” theme, a Pink Ribbon Day, and the sales of pink popcorn and pretzels. Half of that money is also going to Susan B. Komen.
Posters and other materials have also been put up. On one wall of the lobby area is a giant sheet of pink paper with the headline “Please Sign If You Know a Cancer Survivor.” It has a number of signatures on it.
The idea for the week grew out of Owens’ friendship with Yolanda Shepherd-Reid, the Lead Instructor for Cosmetology at the Career Center. Shepherd-Reid had breast cancer.
“I think what the Culinary teachers and students have done this week was wonderful,” Shepherd-Reid said.
“I feel that everyone should be aware of this disease and that it affects us all no matter what background you come from. I’m the first in my family to experience this. It was a journey. But with God, my faith, family, and friends, I’m happy to report I’m a SURVIVOR.”
“So I say, ‘However we have to spread the word, let’s do it!’”