By Stacey Eames | Owner, Highland Bakery | Board Member, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta 

We Bake Love – that’s our slogan at Highland Bakery, and that’s my motto for life. I bake with love and lead with love because I have passion for doing it right, a passion for making people happy.

As a Board Member for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA), I feel blessed to have the opportunity to live out my passions while helping young people succeed. 

By partnering with the BGCMA College & Career Readiness program, I provide job training and mentorship opportunities in culinary arts, restaurant management and hospitality to young people who may not have had access to these resources otherwise. As a business owner, I know first-hand the importance of having a strong work ethic and the skills needed to succeed in the workforce, and I’m grateful to be able to share that knowledge and experience with the next generation.

“Working at Highland Bakery has brought a more realistic view on my dreams,” said Kenneth P., 18, a member of Michael A. Grant Boys & Girls Club in Cobb County. “After two years of working here, I actually know what I’m doing after watching Stacey do it. I see how she runs the business and what it takes to run a business. This place is a steppingstone to show me exactly what I want to do in life.”

Kenneth, who spends his weekends and school breaks working “on the line” or in the pasty department, had dreams of attending culinary school upon high school graduation this May and has been accepted into the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Arts Program. 

“In both application processes, I talked about working at Highland Bakery and my love for cooking,” Kenneth said. “But culinary school is too expensive, so my path will look a little differently now. I’ve been given a full ride to Fort Valley State University, where I will major in business. My plan is to learn the business through my college degree and use my Highland Bakery experience to expand my culinary skills. I want to one day own my own bakery or restaurant or mixture of both.”

Kenneth is well on his path. At Highland Bakery, we support him in a myriad of ways in getting his incubator business off the ground. He started off busing tables and has done everything from working the line to prepare orders to plating food and making pastries and cakes. 

“My favorite thing to cook is probably a New York strip. My favorite thing to bake is blueberry crumb cake. I like the flavor of it the most, and I like stuff that takes me a minute to get it, so once I get it, I’m able to see the progress I’ve made,” Kenneth said. 

In support of kids and teens like Kenneth, BGCMA recently held its 3rd annual Topgolf Fundraiser: Driving Great Futures event, which raised more than $225,000 for College & Career Readiness initiatives. Proceeds directly benefit programs for teens such as free access to ACT/SAT preparation, workshops on resume building and interviewing, and experiences like career exploration tours, college and technical school visits, and paid summer work experiences—like the opportunities I offer year over year at Highland Bakery. 

Countless local companies have served as sponsors for this fundraiser since its implementation. BGCMA relies on the continuous support of community partnerships to help sustain the great work the organization does for youth in our community.

As a Board member of BGCMA and a small business owner, my call to action for other small business owners is to consider using their resources and expertise to support the kids and programs at Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta. There are many ways small business owners can help, such as by volunteering their time, donating resources, and leveraging their networks to raise awareness and funds for BGCMA, and certainly by participating in the College & Career Readiness program. By working together, we can enhance the lives of children in our community, helping them to ignite their unlimited potential and achieve their dreams. So, I encourage all small business owners to get involved and help the great work being done by BGCMA. 


About Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA): For more than 80 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA) has ignited the unlimited potential of kids and teens by creating safe, inclusive, and engaging environments. Our 25 Clubs located in 10 counties across metropolitan Atlanta have traditionally served nearly 7,000 kids & teens (ages 6-18) each year, offering youth development programs during critical non-school hours that promote academic success, healthy lifestyles, and character & leadership. BGCMA also oversees Camp Kiwanis, a 160-acre outdoor residence camp. To learn more about BGCMA, visit us online at


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