I was first introduced to Together We Bake through a recovery counselor. I was told it was a baking course offered to underserved women in recovery or re-entry, and since I liked to cook, perhaps I might be interested.
At that time, I was in a very dark point in my life, feeling helpless and hopeless. I had just entered a residential treatment center for alcoholism, depression and PTSD. The Together We Bake program was mentioned to me in passing but it did peak my interest, and I applied.
Upon entering, I simply expected to acquire new baking skills and perhaps a certificate. As it turned out, baking was just a small piece of what I ultimately received from my time at Together We Bake.
In my very first meeting with Kathy, I was taken in with the warm welcome I received. It just got better from there. Every day, it seemed I was surprised with another incredible gift. I have gained much more than culinary skills from Hanna’s enlightening and uplifting daily empowerment sessions, the Negotiation Works classes, the individual job readiness coaching, and Colida’s masterful Servsafe instruction. The daily encouragement, assertiveness roleplaying, and the required collaboration in the itty-bitty kitchen have all combined to instill a deeper sense of self-pride and empowerment [in me]. I feel less burdened by the weight of the past [and] more optimistic about my future. I see my dreams as a future reality now.
Together We Bake has been truly inspirational. The entire staff has treated me with such care and generosity of spirit that it is hard to feel low or alone in their company. In the short time I’ve been here, the Together We Bake team has come to feel like family.
*Note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.
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