The classroom time is counting down with Class 31-one more week left! We’ve started talking about Financial Literacy between finishing books, studying, and actual tests. We give the students a questionnaire about what financial topics they are most interested in learning more about. This week, we talked basic skills for living on your own (budgeting, making grocery lists/planning, finding appropriate housing) and credit/loans (what is credit, different types of loans, payday loans).
We’ve also been working on employment skills: reviewing resumes, finishing up cover letters, and writing and talking about convictions. Next week we will get them ready for interviews. We are very pleased that Janelle from Short Stack Eatery is willing to come down and do the videotaped mock interviews with the students! Taping these interviews is extremely beneficial because the students get to see and hear exactly how they interview.
The students also took, and all passed, their Supervision tests today! Supervision is a very tough subject, so we are very proud that the work and studying they put in paid off! Next week they will have Nutrition, Costs, and ServSafe tests. And then the classroom is done!
Zack attended the Service Fair this week. The Service Fair is a one-stop-shop at Madison-area Urban Ministry where our clients and students can go to find resources available around Madison. We normally have a pretty good turn out for vendors, and our clients have been increasing lately as well, which is great! It’s a really wonderful opportunity for everyone to get to know what’s around town and begin making connections. Zack wrote a little bit on the experience:
“Service fair was Tuesday. It was going great until Carmella totally put the whole speech on me! I was flustered, red-faced, and my heart was pounding as I talked about the bakery. It was good practice for a sales pitch, but if I had known I would be giving the whole spiel, I would have prepared better. All in all, I got the point across and I felt better eating some Popeye’s and mac’n’cheese even though the intern River ate almost ALL the mac’n’cheese!”
Last, but not least, I wanted to reintroduce Anne, who has moved into a part-time teaching position with us this year. You may remember her from last year in the blog when she was taking the class. Things have changed!
” I’ve been with the Just Bakery program for about two years now, starting off as a student. I loved and appreciated everything I’ve learned while I was a students, and I wanted to give back to the program any chance I got. I was offered a job when I completed the class working in the kitchen, making cookies-lots and lots of cookies. I did that for about 8 months. I really learned a lot and hopefully taught others a lot about baking while I was in there. I loved the kitchen and everything I learned in there, but when I got offered a job working as the assistant teacher, teaching ServSafe, I was happy to move forward!
I could never figure out what I wanted to do as a career. The more I work for, and with, Just Bakery, it becomes clear that I want to help people. I struggled with addiction for a big part of my life and I want to show others who are struggling that it is possible to get sober and stay that way. Happy to say I have been sober for over two years now!
That’s why I applied to become a Peer Support Specialist; that way I could help others by sharing my story and help heal others in their journeys to recovery. I really want to work with women who are in the same position I was not that long ago.
I am really excited about the summer coming up and everything Just Bakery has planned with the youth and trauma-informed cohorts. The youth cohort will be at our old location. We accepted 10 students that seem very excited to work with us learning ServSafe, building resumes, learning life skills like living on their own and saving money, and, of course, baking! A lot of our youth want to go into the culinary arts when they graduate high school and this will be great for encouraging their future goals!”
The trauma-informed cohort Anne mentioned will also be occurring this summer. Being “trauma-informed” is basically saying that we will try to create an environment for people who are being held back from reaching their potential by having patience and understanding while we all work through past trauma, and at the same time, giving them knowledge and skills they can take to the workforce. We have been working on making our program more understanding and less chaotic since we brought on the ManageFirst in January, and this will be a great opportunity to see how far we’ve come, and what else we can do. We are working on making it more hands-on with games and activities, we’ll add in study skills at the beginning to get everyone back in the swing of school, and team building to help us all come together. In addition to our normal items, we will also have a lot of support through Project Respect!
There is a lot in the works for Just Bakery this summer!