Alumnus Maleena Navarro graduated in 2013 and went to Texas Tech. While in high school Navarro worked on the yearbook staff.
What have you done after high school?
“After high school I went to a community college and then transferred over to Texas Tech to get my degree in Marketing,” Navarro said. “While working to get my degree I realized that my passion lied elsewhere and I left Tech close to finishing out my degree. I moved back to the Dallas area where I am now finishing up my degree in Pastry Arts.”
What made you want to do what you are doing now?
“While I was living in Lubbock, I started working at this little mom and pop shop called Pie Bar,” Navarro said. “I started out as a server, but I quickly got promoted to a manager until I was actually the general manager. I really enjoyed the fact that all I had to do was bake for a living while getting to be in an environment where I got to meet new people every single day. This job actually helped me realize that I wanted to get my degree in pastry. Getting to make things from literal scratch into a final product is an amazing feeling. I️t helped me realize that I was more passionate about being a baker instead of going down the traditional business route.”
What did you learn or experience in high school affect you in college and beyond?
“High school taught me that most of us aren’t ready to be actual adults,” Navarro said. “We are all so fixated on the high school experience that we fall short in some of the bigger things that come after. Although I️t did help me realize that being social and most importantly organized goes a long way.”
Explain your job now.
“I am now the head baker of a Sprinkles bakery as well as a froster,” Navarro said. “I am in charge of getting there before the rest of the staff, which normally means 4 a.m. or earlier, to produce top quality cupcakes in a timely manner. I’m in charge of baking over 1,000 cupcakes daily so I have to make sure that I am always on top of my game because if I fall short the rest of the kitchen falls which leads to the front of the bakery falling as well.”
What are your plans for the future?
“Since I am about to finish pastry school, I would like to see where I️t takes me,” Navarro said. “This industry changes so much, which always keeps me on my toes. So whether I continue to stay with the company I’m with now or branch out somewhere else is completely up in the air.”
What is your advice to current high schoolers?
“Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions,” Navarro said. “Remember that this is forming who you will become later on so take all of your classes seriously because they definitely follow you to college. I would also say to have fun, go to the games, pep rallies, etc. Get involved in something because it helps make your experience that much better.”