WHAEF has awarded $11,000 this year. A big thank you to everyone who applied and congratulations to the winners! Learn more about who won scholarships in 2016 and share in their dreams and success.

Kayla Waller – Pierce County Skill Center, Puyallup
Awarded $2,000
Kayla is expected to graduate in 2016 and attend the University of South Carolina to major in Hospitality.

Kayla has worked for multiple places in the hospitality industry including Popeye’s, Jimmy Johns and BBQ Pete’s. Her dream goal is to open her own restaurant, but in the meantime plans to do an internship with the Fire and Smoke Gastropub in South Carolina. She describes herself as a hard worker and independent. Michelle Ledbetter, the director of Pierce County Skill Center, agrees with her. She says, “Kayla immediately emerged as a leader and a role model [in the Culinary Arts program at PCSC] to her peers. She has tremendous work ethic and understands that a successful kitchen and enterprise is the result of a successful team. She leads by example, and although can successfully work independently, is also an asset to any team.”

Tia Kendall – Rogers High School, Spokane, WA
Awarded $2,000
Tia is expected to graduate in 2016 and attend Spokane Community College to major in Culinary Arts.

Tia is the first of her family to graduate high school. She says, “I want to show my family that it is not hard to succeed with your dreams and follow your passion. I want to make them proud.” Her high school English teacher and basketball coach Calvin McHenry says, “She leads by example; verbalizing her actions with maximum physical effort. She uses encouraging words to bring other students back to the course necessary for success. Tia takes great pride not only in her own personal improvement, but also in the improvement of her fellow students in class or on the basketball floor.”

Anastasia Hjermstad – Mt. Spokane High School, Spokane
Awarded $2,000
Anastasia is expected to graduate in 2016 and attend Washington State University to major in Hospitality Management.

“At first it [cooking] was difficult and time consuming and I wasn’t really a fan of it. But my mom continued to teach me how to cook and before I knew it, I could make a three-course meal, instead of cereal for dinner. …That was when I found ProStart. I do not know what I would have done without ProStart.” Anastasia goes on to say how amazing all the chefs, people and friends she met have been. But most of all, ProStart helped her find her passion, “I knew this was something I must continue.” She describes her experience as an alternate and team leader, which her ProStart teacher, Joan Pringle Jones, confirms by sharing this experience: “Strangers in the room [at the mock ProStart competition] were coming up to me and letting me know that, ‘I had a good one!’ in the alternate role.” Anastasia is stoked to continue her culinary education at WSU and hopes to one day work for the Davenport Hotels in Spokane.

Genevieve Boushey – Oak Harbor High School, Oak Harbor
Awarded $2,000
Genevieve is expected to graduate in 2016 and attend the Culinary Institute of America.

Genevieve has worked for Seabolt’s Smokehouse and Restaurant for almost a year. The owner, Charisse Waldron, describes her as punctual, dependable, a diligent worker and having a great work ethic. While she currently works as line cook, Genevieve makes desserts for special occasions and will soon be doing it on a regular basis. Genevieve writes, “To have the ability to paint a facet of your very soul onto a plate for someone you love is the highest form of gratitude and affection. I cook because, when I’m lucky enough, I have the privilege of delivering my food to its consumer and seeing the joy it brings them, and to whomever they may be sharing with. These hours upon hours spent in the kitchen are my home.” According to mentor Scott Fraser, Genevieve is enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America and has offers of work in New York.

Jamie Wilson – Tekoa High School, Tekoa
Awarded $2,000
Earlier this year, Jamie also won our Student of Excellence award.
Jamie is expected to graduate in June of 2016 and attend Washington State University to major in Business Hospitality Management.

Ashley Grow, Jamie’s Family and Consumer Sceinces (FACS) teacher at Tekoa High School says Jamie “can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that a job gets done. She accomplishes these tasks with great initiative and a positive attitude.” Jamie has interned with many companies, including The Feeding Station, C&D’s, and in the Pacific Northwest Chef’s Week. In her scholarship essay, Jamie says, “I am more passionate about the restaurant industry than I have ever been about anything in my entire life, and I think that the kitchen has given me a sense of place in this world. I know that wherever I end up in life, I will always be in the kitchen. I am so thankful for the people in my life that showed me that this is where I belong, and I am forever grateful to the people that are helping me spend the rest of my life doing what I love.”

Jordyn Williamson – ProStart Alumni
Awarded $1,000
Jordyn is currently attending the Art Institute and majoring in Hospitality Food & Beverage Management. She is expected to graduate in July of 2018.

In her essay, Jordyn writes about her experiences in her first year of college as well as her time as a back-of-house baker with Storyville Coffee Company. This particular business donates all their profits to help put a stop to human trafficking. She writes, “Knowing that every pastry I bake and every cup of coffee we serve is helping deliver not only the person who is receiving it a little joy but someone unknown to us a better life, makes what I do even more satisfying.” Currently she works 30 hours per week at Storyville and goes to college full-time. Jordyn says she loses sleep and is exhausted all the time, but the best part is when “I wake up and realize that I get to go to school and learn about an industry that I love.”