Like many students her age, Carley Jordan is looking forward to heading off to college in the fall. She is excited about leaving home for the first time and meeting new friends. Carley is also driven by a dream she has been working toward for years.
“I always had an interest in baking,” she remembers. “And working with Rachael made me realize that it’s definitely what I want to do.”
Rachael Burns, owner of Rachael B. Cupcakes, could not agree more. “The first time I met Carley, I could tell she had a strong character, but she was a little nervous,” Rachael says. “But she articulated her goals and her excitement at working with me, so I felt lucky to have found her.”
A student at WEMOCO through Spencerport High School, Carley was encouraged by her mother to stick to the Culinary Program before deciding if she wanted to specialize in baking. “She had to do 160 internship hours, so I thought she could use those to learn more about baking while getting the more general certification,” says mom Melissa. “I knew Rachael from a networking group, and was able to help her and Lifetime Assistance develop a relationship.”
The internship did more than give Carley on the job experience- it turned into a regular job, also helping Rachael to begin to grow as a small business owner. “The very first day I worked there, Rachael had to leave me alone at a festival for a little while. I just started talking to people and selling her product,” Carley said. Rachael remembers this as well. “She has really blossomed,” Rachael said proudly. “I just stand back and let her grow.”
Rachael and Melissa are both impressed with Carley’s increased confidence and independence. “I trust her to do everything I do,“ says Rachael. “She’s the only person I let do things by herself.” With the help of Lifetime Assistance, Carley has paved the way for other students with disabilities breaking into the culinary field as well. When Rachael accepts new interns through Lifetime, Carley helps them to hone their skills and evaluate how they handle pressure. “Lifetime Assistance was amazing for me, and I’m glad that other students can have these opportunities,” Carley said happily. “When I graduate college, I want to become even more involved in the business, and eventually open my own.”
Off to begin her studies in the Baking Program at SUNY Alfred State this fall, Carley has no reason to see her future as anything but bright. “She is a great story,” Melissa commented. “She has support available for when she needs it, and she works hard.” Rachael agrees. “Carley is more than capable. She is a joy!”