Academy students make Valentine's Day special for all

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

I spent Valentine’s Day with the occupational course of study students at Brunswick County Academy. I can honestly say it was the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had.

The students were operating The Bakin’ and Makin’ Shoppe as part of their diploma requirements. The students must spend 900 hours outside the classroom gaining work experience and operating a student-run business.

These students have turned into talented chefs and bakers and savvy entrepreneurs.

Watching them run their business was a great treat. Their faces lit up when customers came through the door, and they talked over each other, everyone trying to sell their favorite desserts.

They weren’t cutthroat or competitive by any means, simply excited to share their newly–found talents with others.

Watching them talk customers into just one more brownie than they wanted or buying the perfectly packaged heart shaped cookie on a stick made me wish I brought my wallet with me.

Not that I particularly wanted a cookie, but they just emanated such positive energy and were so fun to be around.

The students made more than 40 cakes before the sale even began, and I saw firsthand each cake was carefully crafted. No two looked alike, and each was decorated beautifully.

Seeing the amount of cakes made showed me how much consideration went into each one.

Their thoughtfulness did not stop there. Before I left the sale, several students gave me cookies and candies. The smiles on their faces when they gave me a handmade gift were incredible.

Their teacher, Karen Babson, said one student had been asking her all afternoon when he could give me a rose made of Hershey’s Kisses.

It was obvious they got as much joy out of giving as they did receiving, which to me is more important than any lesson you can learn in the classroom.

The students were spending the day operating their business, doing something that was helping them earn hours toward their diploma.

But the result was much more than selling a few cakes and cookies. They made everyone who came in the room feel welcome, and certainly brightened up my day.

KATHRYN JACEWICZ is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or kjacewicz@brunswickbeacon.com.