Summer Teen Exposure Program

Applications for our 2018 Summer Teen Exposure Program sessions now available. 

Sunflower Bakery offers four, one-week summer baking classes and work exposure for students in high school ages 14+, with a variety of learning disabilities, ADHD, high-functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome. These classes are a wonderful real-time opportunity to experience baking in a professional kitchen, while learning basic baking skills, safe food handling and kitchen safety.

The ProgramSummer Teen Program 2016

Topics covered include following recipes, measuring and weighing ingredients, using equipment and tools, piping, mixing, scooping, rolling and cleaning. Students will be introduced to “soft skills” desired by employers in the food industry, such as following directions, sharing equipment/tools, appropriate communication, focus and being a team member. In our production bakery alongside professional chefs, teens are exposed to a real work environment daily. On Fridays, parents are invited to see their teen’s creations.

Classes are 1:00-3:30 pm daily M-F at our kitchen in Gaithersburg. Dates for Summer 2018:

June 2018 session

Session 1: June 25- June 29

July 2018 sessions

Session 2: July 9- July 13
Session 3: July 16- July 20
Session 4: July 3-July 27

A Safe EnvironmentSummer Teen Experience 2016

Safety is of utmost concern in a kitchen with industrial equipment and sharp tools. Potential risk factors include uncontrolled seizures, difficulties with balance, control of anger or frustration, sensitivity to sensory irritants, and/or inability to remain standing throughout the 2½-hour class. If a student requires 1:1 assistance, a personal support staff person may attend the class. Generally, teens are expected to participate as one of 6 students with an instructor-chef and two assistants.

How to Apply

Please complete the application found here. When your application is received, we will contact you to schedule a brief intake at the Bakery. Please contact Sara Portman Milner at if you would like more information or if you would like to have an application emailed to you.

Volunteers 16 years and older help participants learn to bake. To apply, submit the Volunteer Application Form.

“Connor was fully immersed in the program and looked forward to attending each day. We were extremely happy that he wanted to go … and … more pleased when he came home very enthusiastic ..  I truly thank you for taking the time to immerse him in a teaching environment and expose him to a possible career path.”

Connor’s Mom

Connor Pennanen