You can call Chugiak's Cindy Lee a chef with a cause: Our Fund the Future winner has turned her passion for cooking, into a future career.
It doesn't matter what Cindy Lee is cooking up in the classroom. She's as cool as a cucumber, or in this particular case, a few cupcakes. Even though the 2014 Chugiak High School graduate may be a tad bit shy, when it comes to the culinary arts, she's a fearless leader.
As part of the state championship Chugiak Pro Start culinary team, she helped create scrumptious meals for the national competition, like a poached pear that was glazed with Alaska Birch syrup. It's fancy food that most of us can only dream of making, but that Cindy says is very simple, if you put in the work.
"She's been a great leader and I'm really going to miss her when she leaves," said Carolanne Moore who is one of Cindy's teammates.
"Whenever we feel like we need help she helps us and she guides us through things," said Pa Kou Yang, who is also one of Cindy's teammates.
A captain in the kitchen as well as in Chugiak's hallways, Cindy through her leadership clubs has volunteered throughout the Eagle River community. She's even taken a step out of her comfort zone by doing flash mobs and encouraging her peers to live a healthy lifestyle.
"I kind of want to be a leader for them and I just want to step up to the plate and show them I they can do it to," said Cindy.
A motivation she got from home, with eight kids, Cindy will be the first in her family to go to college.
"I really want to do something nice for my family, because we have a big family and its hard," said Cindy.
"She is exactly what every teacher and educator wants to see in a student, one who finally realizes what she wants to do in her career and really works hard to get there," said Kathleen Vik, who is Cindy's teacher at Chugiak High School.
A blossoming star who doesn't forget where she came from.
"I can still see myself working in the community where I love and where I live," said Cindy.
And even though she's ready to move on to the next level, making delicious dishes for all are still on her mind.
"Everybody loves spaghetti so I would probably make a spaghetti and meatball dinner and would add a little pineapple to give it a sweet and sour taste," said Cindy.
A chef and artist we all would be lucky to eat from one day.
Cindy got a full ride to Mat Su College and will be going there in the fall. She wants to major in hospitality or tourism, with one day working as a restaurant or banquet manager.
Corey Allen-Young KTUU Channel 2 Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org 744-2642 cell