When Anaiya Little's dream of culinary school took an unexpected turn, she found a path to her future at Lorain County Community College.
Anaiya Little, of Lorain, dreamed of going away to attend a pastry or culinary school, but when that dream fell through, she realized she could still achieve her dream right where she earned her first associate degree – Lorain County Community College.
“I realized that LCCC has a culinary program that is not only affordable, but with great chefs and mentors who actually care,” Little said.
She graduated in 2019 with an associate of arts degree from LCCC through the Lorain County Early College High School. ECHS is a combined high school and college experience where students enter as high school freshmen and earn both their high school diploma and associate of arts degree in four years.
In May she will graduate with her associate of applied business degree in hospitality and tourism management with a culinary arts major.
Being enrolled in the LCCC culinary program taught her more than just her way around the kitchen – it taught her a lot about herself.
“I was constantly comparing myself to others and questioning my abilities even when I knew I had the skills,” Little said. “After my first year in the program I realized that the only thing that truly matters is my passion for what I’m doing and knowing that sometimes it’s OK to fail.”
The LCCC culinary faculty was always there to help her recover from a failure she said. “Chef Adam, Chef Ashley and Chef Brad taught me so much, in what feels like so little time. I will always be very appreciative and grateful for them,” Little said. “They made this such a great experience and I have learned so much from them in two years.”
After graduation she may go on to a pastry school or start her own small bakery. In the meantime, she is working at Meijer as a member of the bakery team. “I am an ‘unofficial cake decorator’ and also make cookies, pies and anything else that is needed,” she said.