Teen Exposure Programs

Summer Teen Exposure Program (STEP) 2021

This summer, Sunflower Bakery will once again offer our summer baking classes and work exposure for students ages 16 through graduation, 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, learn basic baking skills, safe food handling, kitchen safety, and have a taste of job expectations. All classes will be held at our new location in Rockville at 5951 Halpine Road.


Session I: June 21-June 25th – 1:30-4 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday.
Session II: June 28-July 2nd – 9:30a.m.-12 noon daily, Monday through Friday.
Session III: June 28-July 2nd – 1:30-4 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday.
Session IV: July 12th, 19th, 26th, August 2nd, and 9th – 5-week class on consecutive Mondays, 9:30a.m.- 12 noon.
Session V: July 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th and August 6th – 5-week class on consecutive Fridays, 1:30-4pm.

Topics to be covered

Following recipes, measuring and weighing ingredients, using equipment and tools, piping, mixing, scooping, rolling and cleaning will all be included. 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.

Approved under DORS Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Program

If your son or daughter has signed up with Maryland Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) for the Pre-ETS program, inform your counselor that you plan to apply for a summer Sunflower class, so DORS can begin the approval process. There will be no needs assessment in order to qualify. If you live in Maryland and have not yet signed up for Pre-ETS, please contact the nearest DORS office for assistance.

COVID-19 and Safety

Students will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to ensure safety from COVID-19, all students must be at least 16 years old and wear masks. We strongly encourage all eligible participants to be fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks before the starting date for the session to be attended.

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, their personal support person may attend the class. Generally, teens are expected to participate as one of 4 students with a Chef instructor and two assistants.

Click here for an application. Since we have limited slots, acceptance is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Questions? Contact Sara Portman Milner LCSW-C at sara@sunflowerbakery.org.