“At an early age, I learned to dream big and to work hard for what I really want, and that is cooking.”
Nicole is 18 years-old and studying at Anihan Technical School in the Philippines. She has always known she wanted to be a chef, and is grateful to study what she loves.
“At an early age, I learned to dream big and to work hard for what I really want, and that is cooking,” she said.
She chose to study at Anihan in order to learn more about the techniques of cooking, improve her skills, and gain experience being in different environments. While she has learned many things, one she finds the most important is how to keep a good attitude.
“I do believe that an attitude makes a person better,” she said. “Having a positive attitude will not just be for you to please anyone around you, it is also a good thing in the industry we will walk into.”
Like many students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nicole struggled to keep up when classes went onlines. Many of her classmates did not have stable internet or electronic devices, and teachers had to take care of their families. However, Nicole was able to practice the skills she gained at Anihan and sell some of the food she made to others in her neighbourhood.
“I am proud that I am still here and continuing what I have started. It is a great feeling that I am halfway through my dreams, and not giving up on it.”
In the future, Nicole not only wants to be a successful chef, but to use her passion and skills to travel the world.
“Working abroad is one of my dreams and goals in life,” she said. “I wanted to explore different countries to know what they are proud of, in terms of their cuisines.”
Her classmates and teachers are an inspiration to her, and she also receives encouragement from her mentor.
“She is ensuring that she is keeping in touch with me, she is not forgetting to ask how I am doing and what is going on in my life, and I am grateful for her,” Nicole said.
While Nicole has big goals for herself, she’s willing to work hard to make it happen. Although she’s doubted herself in the past, she wants to work hard and prove to others that her dreams can come true.
“I can see that there are many people, such as my family and friends, who are proud of me and what I am doing, and I am really grateful that it is not just me who is happy with it,” she said.
“The opportunity that has been given to me will be treasured and not to be wasted. I am deeply grateful and thankful for this opportunity.”