Savanna Whitaker - Sullivan Lexington Alum of the Month
Savanna Whitaker was selected as Alumna of the Month from Sullivan University's Lexington campus. "Sullivan has so many successful graduates and it makes me feel honored that my hard work was noticed by Chef Foster, whom I look up to in the culinary and business field. I never would have thought that I would be featured as Alum of the Month," she said.
Savanna graduated with her Associates in Culinary Arts, Associates in Baking and Pastry Arts, and her Bachelors in Business Marketing and Management. She indicated that she wanted to go into culinary arts because she had fond memories of cooking in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother. She also said, "Food is something everyone has in common. Food brings people together no matter who they are, where they are from, or what language they speak."
We asked Savanna about her favorite experiences while attending Sullivan. "I loved that Sullivan offers a non-traditional way of learning. I wasn't always in a classroom setting, I was able to be in a kitchen trying and learning new things everyday," said Savanna. "Sullivan helped prepare me for my career by focusing on real world applications instead of filler classes. With small daily hands-on classes, I was able to build closer relationships with my instructors to network in my field and to focus more on reaching my personal goals."
Currently, Savanna works at The Learning Center at Linlee (TLC) as a culinary instructor. TLC is an alternative high school in Lexington, KY where Savanna instructs 15 students in an experimental culinary program. Her class prepares breakfast and lunch daily for all 164 students and 30 adults in the school. "All meals are free to the students and are made from scratch without preservatives. Each month the menu is based on a different part of the world so the kids are exposed to culture and healthy eating. The majority of the ingredients come from donations from local businesses and local farms. The kids in my program amaze me everyday. They work with so little and accomplish so much. There isn't a day that goes by that they don't teach me something as well. They make me a better chef and person," she said.
Savanna plans to stay with her program at TLC as long as she can. She hopes that the program will be a template for other schools to adopt and follow.
Her advice for students is: "Never give up on your goals. There will always be bad days no matter what job you have, always look for the good and keep your focus on why you started. Also, keep close to your contacts, you'll never know when they will be able to help you."
Read about past alumni of the month