Dillon’s depression started when he was in high school. He remembers getting picked on, feeling left out and having no friends. His ADHD and learning challenges were all too familiar. For a long time, “There were days I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it”, Dillon remembers.
But he did.
In fact, these days, he feels like things are finally going his way. He thanks Sunflower Bakery for that. He was just offered a position as Pastry Assistant, where he can not only continue to bake, but actually help manage interns as well. He is pretty excited. Dillon heard about Sunflower Bakery through a job representative who told him about the training program. When he learned that they train students to get paid jobs as bakers, he was particularly intrigued. After all, he has been baking his whole life.
“Baking is a healthy escape, a rhythmic thing…it always smells nice and the best part is, at the the end, you get to give something delicious to someone to eat”
He also finds the chefs at the bakery who teach him particularly supportive. “They can show you how to do things in a myriad of ways so no matter how you learn, you can pick things up and get better as a baker”.
Sunflower Bakery Training Program
The training program at Sunflower Bakery is an intense one. It last six months long and requires 260 hours learning pastry and employment skills, then it’s followed by a 300 hour internship. Dillon just completed his internship and will be starting his job as a Pastry Assistant.
After Dillon’s third day of his assessment, he remembers his manager Liz Hutter telling him that he was being recommended to start the training at the bakery. He was ecstatic. He called his mom and dad to tell them the news. They not only support Dillon and his pursuits at the Bakery, but have given him access to their truck, so that he can drive to work. In July, Dillon started actually baking in the kitchen as a part of his training. He got to bring home whatever he baked to his parents. At first this was great, recalls Dillon, then he remembers one week bringing home 3 pies, 4 cakes and a bunch of cookies. His parents had had enough – “This needs to stop, you’re going to make us fat”.
Today, Dillon’s depression isn’t what it used to be. He’s shifted from depression to confidence. His success at Sunflower has been empowering. In fact, in a year, he wants to move out of his parents’ home and get an apartment with a friend. Then he plans to go to college part time so that he can work in a bakery. He feels like his dreams are finally coming true and he is grateful to Sunflower Bakery for helping him find his path.
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