Student of the Week Alejandra Arizmendi
From an early age, Alejandra Arizmendi said she was inspired to cook by her mother, who always emphasized that hard work was the key to being successful.
Originally from Mexico, Alejandra, 23, said she came to the United States as a child. One of her fondest memories, she said, was receiving an easy bake oven at the age of seven, which would later influence her career choice.
“My dream is to one day open my own bakery and cafe,” Alejandra said. “I love to bake, and my favorite are tarts. I love being creative with cupcakes and I enjoy decorating chocolate strawberries for Valentines Day, which I do on my own.”
After graduating high school in 2013, Alejandra said she became employed at Nestle Toll House in La Plaza Mall in McAllen and refined her skills as a baker. Fast forward three year later, Alejandra is now receiving two associate degrees in Cooking and Pastry at South Texas College and plans to attend the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio after she graduates.
“With the help of my mother and my job I was inspired to study that,” she said. “For students, I would like to tell them that even though it’s hard it’s all worth it.
“If you really love what you are doing, you know you are not going to give up that easily,” she said. “My mom has always put it into my head that you have to work hard for everything that you want. No one is going to give you anything. If this is what you really want, never give up on your dream.”
"You have to work hard for everything that you want. No one is going to give you anything. If this is what you really want, never give up on your dream.”
“I feel grateful just to be working and coming to school. I’m always tired. Each culinary class can be six to seven hours long and I often take six classes during the semester and go straight to work after that putting in 40 hours a week. I have to manage.”