Rebecca Radway considers herself lucky that she discovered her passion early in life.
At age 19, Radway is well on her way to becoming a professional baker. Her goal is to specialize in cake decorating and eventually run her own business.
Radway received the Lieutenant Governor’s silver medal for academic achievement at Vancouver Island University’s convocation ceremony June 24 for students enrolled in Trades and Technology programs.
The award comes on the heels of her completing Level 1 of the professional baking program at VIU. She hopes to secure an apprenticeship this summer, and then apply for her Red Seal certification in three years.
Radway discovered her love of baking while enrolled in the cafeteria-training program at Ladysmith Secondary School in Grade 10. Teacher Melody Hadikin saw her potential and talent and took Radway under her wing.
“Ms. Hadikin took me on as an unofficial apprentice and taught me everything she knows,” said Radway. “She was a wonderful mentor and I learned so much from her.”
Radway continued learning about baking in Grades 11 and 12 and signed up for VIU’s professional baking program immediately after graduation.
“I’ve loved the course,” she said. “It’s given me a chance to become more creative and expand on my previous knowledge.”
Radway said the key ingredients needed to be a great baker include patience and the willingness to learn.
“You have to remain open to new ideas,” she said.
Martin Barnett, chairman of VIU’s professional baking program, said Radway is a talented baker.
“After she made her first wedding cake in class, two individuals saw her work and commissioned her to create their wedding cakes,” he said.