“Life is hard, but you can keep going. Don’t give up.” At 16, Mashauna dropped out of high school and started working, thinking she had it all figured out. Once she turned 30, she realized that maybe there was more to life than just having a job. “I had an epiphany and knew my career was on the horizon,” she says. Since turning 30, she has gotten her GED, is attending culinary school at CCSC, and will begin her associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts starting in the fall. Mashauna really started cooking during COVID and came to realize that not only did she love it, she was good at it, too. She is most interested in understanding how a commercial kitchen works and the particulars of measurements and recipes. Mashauna is looking forward to putting everything she is learning at CCSC towards her catering business. Not only is she wanting to succeed for herself, but for her son, too. Mashauna has an 11-year-old son and has started to teach him how to cook and be responsible for himself in the kitchen, since she started to cook for herself when she was 11. In addition to her son, Mashauna looks to make her mom proud in everything she does. After her mom’s passing in 2015, Mashauna has done her best to make her mom proud, knowing that mom is looking down on her every day.