Profile of Excellence:
Owens Community College Alumna
April Holdridge grew up in Toledo. She was a 1997 graduate of Woodward High School where she enrolled in an animal care program offered by Toledo Public Schools her junior and senior years.
"I was dead set on working with animals when I was in high school," Holdridge said.
She had not planned on attending college after high school. She continued volunteering at the Toledo Zoo and had a full -time job at a kennel and dog grooming business for 13 years.
At age 28, Holdridge knew she wanted to make a change. After looking at local colleges and universities, she knew Owens Community College would fit her needs the best.
"Owens catered to the adult student and that is what I was," said Holdridge.
After taking all of her core classes, the culinary program sparked her interest. Even after her uncle, a chef at a casino in Las Vegas, told her of the long working hours in the culinary field, she was still determined to give it a try.
"Hard work never scared me," she said.
Holdridge loved the educational environment at Owens. She found the freedom to study and learn in a way that inspired her.
While taking one of her culinary classes, she liked the teaching techniques of instructor Chef Bill Powell.
"He was a teacher and a coach. He would show you how to make it, then coach and encourage you while you tried," said Holdridge.
Holdridge graduated cum laude this past May with an associate degree in culinary arts. She has been employed by AVI Foodsystems, Inc. for over a year and makes all of the soups and baked goods for Owens' food courts.
"I really love baking and the soups are always selling out," said Holdridge.
Holdridge is always getting special requests for her soups. Even from Chef Powell, who loves her chili and thinks it's one of the best he has ever had.
In the future, Holdridge sees herself opening a small- town bakery featuring soups and pastries.
"The best decision I ever made was going back to college at Owens. It was a big leap of faith," said Holdridge.
Join Owens Community College's Alumni Association today!
Contact Laura Moore at (567) 661-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org