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Jonathan Gardner - Jane Addams Business Careers Center

Jonathan Notable: Will attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Already operates a business, Crazy Comforts, which offers a “New Twist on Comfort Food.”

High school resume: Class valedictorian. Top culinary student. Graduate of the Young Business Institute program. Won second place in the country in the Family Career and Community Leaders of America’s 2016 culinary arts competition. Took second place in cake decorating in state competition.

Plans for the future: Hopes to open a fusion cuisine restaurant and bakery and form a corporation that helps other young entrepreneurs enter the culinary industry. If he is not in the restaurant business, he will teach culinary arts.

Challenges faced: Balancing advanced classes, work and starting a business.

Who besides Jonathan deserves credit for his success? His mother for always being in his corner, fighting for him to have the best and making sure he was on top of things. He also is motivated by the death two years ago of his father, who Jonathan said also “wanted to see the best in me.”

Quote: “Food gives you the opportunity to dig deep into your creative side. To be able to put whatever you need together to paint a picture, to paint your story. What you want people to feel, taste and live once they take that first bite.”