■ Student’s name: Olivia Wenger
■ Parents: Jaquelyn and Gregory Wenger
■ High school: Western High School senior
■ Career plans: pastry chef
■ KACC instructor: Shelley Rust, culinary arts
■ Internship Placement: Grindstone Charley’s, 3830 S. Lafountain St., Kokomo.
■ Supervisor: Kristina Gunderson, manager
Olivia Wenger’s thoughts:
“I became interested in working at Grindstone Charley’s after a good friend said it was a good place to work. On my first day, I was trained by another Kokomo Area Career Center [Kokomo High School] student, which made me more comfortable. In my job as a hostess, I greet and seat customers, collect menus, clean the lobby and occasionally run food and bus tables. I am comfortable being around my managers, and I know who to ask for help. I even made a wedding cake for my general manager. After I graduate from high school, I plan to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Minnesota so I can eventually own a combination bakery and breakfast restaurant. This is my second year in the culinary arts program at the Kokomo Area Career Center, and Ms. [Shelle] Rust has helped me see that I want to become a pastry chef. By the way, I highly recommend the chicken and noodles and/or the breaded pork tenderloin at Grindstone Charley’s.”
Kristina Gunderson’s comments:
“At Grindstone Charley’s, we are known for our ribs and our breaded tenderloins. We have several two for $20 items and a new lunch menu. I believe in the Kokomo Area Career Center and think it is a great experience for students. I have a daughter enrolled now in the early childhood education program, and another child attended the career center last school year. The Kokomo Area Career Center is a great place to learn! Through her experiences at Grindstone Charley’s, Olivia now understands what takes place behind the scenes at a restaurant. Olivia knows hosting, serving and cooking, so she is well rounded in all aspects of the restaurant business. Olivia listens and acts on constructive criticism, while she also makes solid improvement suggestions. This experience at Grindstone Charley’s definitely will help Olivia with her career plan to open a breakfast and bakery business after she finishes culinary school.”
This is part of a regular series featuring a student and an employer involved in the Kokomo Area Career Center’s School-to-Work program. Any employer or student interested in the School-to-Work program should call James Stradling, KACC director, at 765-455-8021.