I was born in Peoria and lived in the area until I was eight years old, when Dad's job transferred him to Clearwater, Florida. We lived in Clearwater for a couple of years before Dad found another job in the Orlando area. After living in the Orlando area for about 10 years, I had had enough of the constant heat and humidity of Florida and moved back to Peoria in 2008.
My passion for cooking started with my mom, with her letting me help with cooking when I was big enough to look over the counter. It blossomed more with the Boy Scouts. In high school, I took a couple of cooking classes as part of my electives for graduation. After high school, I attended culinary school at Valencia Community College in the Orlando area and my classes were in Baking and Pastry Arts Management. A lot of my classes were about bread or about chocolate.
One of the things that I feel strongly about in my life is my involvement with the Boy Scouts of America. I joined the Boy Scouts in 1991 as a cub scout, where I eventually earned the Arrow of Light award. I continued into Boy Scouts when I started middle school and remained active as a youth in the program unit I turned 18. During my time with the Boy Scouts, I earned the Medal of Merit for life-savings actions I took to save the life of a school mate and earned my Eagle Scout in 2002. After turning 18, I have remained active with the Boy Scouts as an adult leader. Boy Scouts has allowed me to combine my love for our doors and expand my cooking experiences to things other than a commercial kitchen. I currently serve as Scoutmaster for troop 333 out of Peoria. As Scoutmaster, I get to teach scouts many different skills, including how to cook. When I am not working, I am usually do something with the Boy Scouts.
A couple of years ago, I was talking to a friend about how I thought I missed a calling to be a teacher for a cooking program as it is something I enjoy a lot with the Boy Scouts. She got me started as a Paraprofessional helping in a classroom with students that had behavior problems and then, this year, 2022, this same friend told me about the opportunity with Woodruff Culinary Program and I jumped on the opportunity to join the team. I am looking forward to teaching the students what I know and growing my skills as well as we travel down this new path in life.