Last year, Julia Goldsmith '17 was given the Jamie Garfield Grant, and she used the awarded funds to take a class from a professional cookie maker, and an icon in the sweets business, Amber from Sweet Ambs in New York City. At the age of 13, Goldsmith, along with her older sister and business partner, started a cookie business of their own.
Sweet Ambs class taught them lots of tricks and techniques about baking cookies, but Goldsmith took away a great deal more than just frosting tips that she has put into practice. She was recently invited by the principal at Grace Academy, an all girls' school in Hartford for grades 5-8, focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, to teach a class on baking cookies for an upcoming bake sale. She used the opportunity to educate the girls on how to start their own business. "The class I took in the city with the grant money taught me how important the approach of teaching is. I learned how to break it up into manageable steps which really helped during my time at Grace Academy."
Goldsmith was humbled by how excited the girls were to have her there, and incredibly impressed by their manners and attitude. "My favorite part was going around and helping each individual girl," she said. "They were all so thankful and polite and happy I was there which made it a lot of fun."
The group made over 100 cookies, and each student got to take some home, along with their own bag of frosting. "They tried all the techniques I showed them. I thought it was amazing that despite the fact that they could have used the money they raised from the bake sale for their own needs at the school, instead they donated it all to St. Jude."
She was also surprised with how much her visit resonated with them. "I knew I was teaching them something I hoped they would find interesting, but when I received a handwritten thank you letter from a few of the girls, I was truly touched. The principal also shared that they wanted to start a business of their own someday."
Although Goldsmith is off to Tulane University in the fall, her business will remain open. She and her sister split responsibilities and cookie orders, so on big holidays or vacation breaks, Julia will continue to work. In the meantime, her sister, who graduated recently, will handle the bulk of responsibilities.
When asked how she has balances school and her business, Goldsmith remarks, "KO has been crucial to my time management skills. When I came in middle school, I didn't have much of it. My advisors and teachers have helped me so much, now I have it down to a science. If I have orders to fill, I will make sure I do my homework the night before or during free periods, or get up extra early in the morning. KO has taught me how to balance my work and my business."
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.