For as long as she can remember, Kayla Coleman has loved to bake. This summer, the 19-year-old brought her vibrant spirit to Kender and Sisters Kitchen + Coffee to gain valuable internship experience and job skills in the industry – and ended up imparting lessons on those she met as well.
Kayla is part of the Cape Abilities Pre-Employment Transition Services Program (Pre-ETS), designed to help high school students with disabilities explore their career interests and support their transition into adult life. Her internship at the Dennis bakery and coffee shop aligned perfectly with the vocational skills she wanted to develop.
“Kender and Sisters has really stepped up and offered an invaluable opportunity for Kayla to get some work experience. Kayla has a longtime love of baking, so this seemed like the perfect fit,” said Julie Pfrommer, assistant manager of the Cape Abilities Pre-ETS program.
Kender and Sisters opened three years ago, spearheaded by husband-wife duo Margot Kender and Geoff Boehme. Located right across from Cape Abilities Farm, Margot felt a connection to the mission immediately, and noted she had always wanted to find a way to engage Cape Abilities participants.
“When Julie [Pfrommer] approached me about hosting Kayla for a summer internship, it just seemed like a natural fit,” she said.
Since joining the Kender and Sisters team, Kayla has learned a variety of job skills – her responsibilities have included baking cookies, operating the mixer, wrapping silverware, folding pizza boxes – all while maintaining her infectious spirit and love of dance breaks.
“I love it. Mainly because I have a job – this is my first job!” said Kayla.
Kayla noted her favorite part of her summer internship was the variety of baking skills she was able to develop. “Definitely the cookies,” Kayla said of her favorite item to bake.
Kayla’s skills have clearly advanced in this short time – Margot noted that when she started, it took Kayla 45 minutes to prepare the cookies. Soon, Kayla was completing the task in under 20 minutes, and her skills continued to sharpen every week.
While this has been a time of growth for Kayla, it has also impacted the Kender and Sisters team.
“A lot of these are family-based recipes. With the craziness of the summer, I kind of forgot about those stories, and it’s been so nice to have someone to re-tell them to,” said Margot. “It’s been a good practice in slowing down and not needing to rush. Having Kayla here has brought the joy back in baking.”
For Kayla, it does not stop here. Although she maintains her love of creating in the kitchen, Kayla is eager to try other jobs as well. She is hoping to intern at a café next – and thanks to your support, the skills she has developed over the summer will help launch her into her next pursuit.