2013 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
Co-founder Gary Meier accepts the award on behalf of Angel Baked.
The St. Louis Division honors Angel Baked, an after-school, inner-city program that empowers young people through employment, training, and personal development. Accepting the award on behalf of the organization is co-founder Gary Meier.
Since 2007, Angel Baked has operated out of the basement kitchen of a local church, engaging and empowering neighborhood youth to design and operate their own cookie-baking business. The paid student employees are involved in every aspect of running the business, from recipe development and production to clean-up, sales, and marketing. The students also deliver the individually wrapped cookies, which are sold in about a dozen locations throughout St. Louis.
Angel Baked is subsidized by grants secured through North Grand Neighborhood Services, which is dedicated to reversing the cycle of poverty, violence, and neglect that has plagued the community for decades. Students at least 16 years old apply for the after-school job. In addition to working for a paycheck, students are required to stay in school and participate in workshops on topics such as conflict resolution, resume writing, and budgeting. In 2012, 100 percent of Angel Baked student employees continued on to higher education.