San Juan Hills High School senior Sofia Votava was honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.
The award, granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and country.
Sofia created The “Knead” for Baking, which introduces children ages 8-18 to basic baking techniques with a STEAM aspect in order build skill levels and confidence. In today’s fast-paced society, many families do not take the time to prepare meals, let alone teach their children the basic cooking and baking skills needed to be self-reliant adults. After developing the curriculum and PDF, filming the instructional video, and creating a follow-up assessment and survey, Sofia launched her website. She worked with the Ladera Ranch Middle School community service All Star Program to reach a broad range of students, and partnered with the Home Baking Association, who provided her with additional resources and information.
In the past, students donating baked goods to community causes would receive service credit for donating store bought baked goods, or goods baked by parents. There was no way to ensure that students were actually baking the goods or creating a way to control the quality of the goods.
This year, participants who wish to donate baked goods must first complete Sofia’s “Knead” for Baking program, ensuring students are able to learn the life skills that baking has to offer.