For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Frances Petersen


Bold Points






I recently graduated from my local community college and received my A.A. in Hospitality Management. Since returning to school, I have done tremendously well and joined my college's Phi Theta Kappa chapter. I applied to the Culinary Institute of America and was accepted into their Baking and Pastry program for Fall 2023. In the future, I would like to open a pie shop that pairs meat pies with beer, wine, and spirits selected from local vendors. I have been working on the details of this concept for several years, including creating my recipes. I feel supporting small, locally run operations is important to the survival of any industry- especially the food and beverage industry, and that niche markets offer more opportunities for creativity and innovation. I am passionate about food, especially in pairing with beverages, and envision tremendous opportunities for growth in these areas. I am a single parent of an amazing little boy with special needs. He is my everything. I have spent the last nine years taking care of my son and only recently returned to school in the Summer of 2021. I need to succeed in my education for us both. I deal with chronic health issues, including epilepsy, migraines, and lupus, and survived a type of rare cancer in my youth. Despite this, I have chosen to take control of my future and not let these things hold me down. I do not want my disability to define me. In recent years, I have worked hard to get my health under control and lost 175 pounds through a healthy diet and exercise.


Culinary Institute of America

Associate's degree program
2023 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, General

American River College

Associate's degree program
2015 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Hospitality Administration/Management

Granite Bay High School

High School
2000 - 2004


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, General
    • Hospitality Administration/Management
    • Agricultural and Food Products Processing
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Executive Pastry Chef

    • Admissions Director

      Windsor Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
      2006 – 20115 years
    • Activities Assistant

      Eskaton Village Roseville
      2011 – 20121 year
    • Pastry Cook

      Stellina Pronto!
      2024 – Present7 months


    • Drawing
    • Computer Art

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Sacramento Food Literacy Center — Server/Food Prep
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      American River College President's Farewell Party — Food Prep/Cleanup
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      American River College Retiree Lunch — Server/Cook
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      MSPCA — Event Organizer - Senior's Walk for Animals
      2009 – 2009
    • Volunteering

      ARC Hospitality Management Grad Party — Baker
      2022 – 2022

    Future Interests





    Martha Brooks Culinary Arts Scholarship
    As a child, I always had a dream of owning a restaurant. In my extended family, food represents love, joy, and celebration. My passion for cooking was nurtured by my grandparents, who taught me that the best food was made with love. My maternal grandfather was a former cook in the Navy and the dietary manager and head chef of the Alexian Brothers Hospital. On the other hand, my paternal grandparents were Mexican immigrants who brought with them their unique recipes and food traditions. I decided to pursue a career in the restaurant industry because I wanted a profession that would keep me engaged and challenged every day of my life. I also hoped to help my child, who is on the Autism spectrum, with his food aversion challenges. Working in the restaurant industry allowed me to introduce new foods into his diet, model good nutrition and healthy eating habits, and seek advice and support from peers and instructors. After completing my college education, I aim to work as a pastry chef or baker, preferably at a restaurant or bakery that serves pies. I believe that understanding the food I plan to work with will be instrumental in my success in all aspects, including culinary, marketing, and business. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have a dream of establishing a gastropub that offers a wide range of savory pies, pastries, and similar dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. My goal is to cater to individuals with different dietary needs, including those with food allergies and intolerances. I am a strong advocate of promoting farm-to-fork practices in my community and beyond, and I believe in the power of consumers to choose where their food comes from. My vision is to educate both current and future generations about the importance of sourcing food sustainably and responsibly. One of the most fascinating aspects of supply chain management in the restaurant industry is the adoption of Farm to Fork practices. While it may pose certain challenges, such as limited variety, weather and infrastructure dependencies, and higher prices, the benefits and positive impact on restaurant supply chains are undeniable. By sourcing ingredients from local farms and producers, we can ensure that our food is fresh, of the highest quality, and supports the local economy. Additionally, we can offer seasonal menu options that reflect the flavors and ingredients of the region, reducing transportation costs and emissions. As someone who lives with an autoimmune disease and dietary restrictions, I understand firsthand the importance of accommodating health-related needs while dining out. Therefore, I am committed to creating a unique dining experience that is both delicious and environmentally conscious. I plan to use local, seasonal ingredients, minimize food waste, and prioritize eco-friendly products and practices, all while ensuring that my establishment welcomes many types of diners. By doing so, we can provide a truly inclusive dining experience that celebrates the diversity of our community and supports sustainable food systems.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    As a youth, I often felt like I was facing constant adversity. Being overweight led to ridicule and teasing, which impacted my self-esteem. Academic struggles added to my feelings of inadequacy, leaving me feeling destined to fail. I also struggled with mental health issues that made it difficult for me to cope with the world around me. At 16, I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that required surgery and left me with lasting health complications. This had a profound impact on my sense of self-worth, and I was left feeling like I was doomed to a lifetime of misery. As a result, I became an easy target for individuals looking to take advantage of me, and often without even realizing it. It took many years to realize that I had the power to change and become who I was meant to be. In 2018, I concluded I no longer wanted to be me anymore. That is a dramatic statement, but until that point, I struggled to get through each day. I was in a relationship where I was being manipulated and abused daily, and convinced I was mentally unstable and worthless. I was isolated, extremely unhealthy, rarely ever left my house, and spent the day rotting on the couch. I no longer had dreams or aspirations. After a suicide attempt two years prior, I had convinced myself that my only reason for existing was for my child. I had reached my breaking point. I realized that my partner, whom I had known since childhood, had dragged me so deeply into the pit of despair that the weight of my circumstances had become too much to bear. I knew that I had to leave. Leaving was necessary if I ever wanted to regain control of my life. As soon as I mustered up the power to walk away, I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I could finally think again, and I never looked back. I found a new drive within me and was determined to prove to myself and others that I was capable of success. Starting with my health, an area where I had always struggled. I researched nutrition and diets for countless hours to find something within my budget. After two years of hard work, I lost an incredible 175 pounds. I'm proud to say that I have successfully maintained my weight loss. This has been a tough journey, but I've learned that with determination and a strong will, anything is possible. My outlook on the future is positive because I have the drive to succeed and the ability to visualize my goals. I've applied this mindset to all aspects of my life, including school and my future career. I now realize that my identity isn't defined by what happened to me, but by what I choose to become. And I choose to be someone who is strong, determined, and capable of achieving anything that I set my mind to.
    Sylvester Taylor "Invictus" Hospitality Scholarship
    Since I was a child, I dreamed of running my own restaurant. The joy I found in cooking was fostered by my grandparents, who taught me the best food was made with love. My Grandfather on my mother’s side was the dietary manager and head chef of the Alexian Brothers Hospital and a former cook in the Navy. My Grandparents on my father’s side were Mexican immigrants who brought their recipes and food traditions with them and passed them on to their children. I grew up with a large extended family and food represented love, joy, and celebration. My goals are currently to finish my A.A. in Hospitality Management at American River College. I plan to transfer to the Culinary Institute of America in the Fall and earn an A.O.S. in Baking and Pastry. Then I plan to get work experience with the goal of enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America’s Food Business Administration Bachelor’s Degree Program. I want a college education because it will give me desired skills in the food service industry. Not only in culinary skills but in management skills as well. My short-term goals after college are to work in the industry as a pastry chef or baker. Ideally, I would like to get experience at a restaurant or bakery that serves pies. I believe the more experience I gain with the type of food I plan to work with long-term, the better I will understand it in all aspects. Not only from a culinary aspect but from a marketing and business aspect as well. My business concept is a pub that serves savory pies and pairs them with beverages selected from local vendors. I want to experiment with different flavors inspired by regional cuisine. I believe this concept would be successful because savory pies are a niche concept and in the right location and with the right promotion, could become very popular. I have chosen pie because I am convinced that pie is the perfect food. It is portable, versatile, and offers never-ending options of variations on the pastry and filling, either savory or sweet. Pie can be the perfect canvas for creativity, that lump of dough can transform into a work of art- lattices, braids, or a delicate crimp. Fruit or vegetable slices can become geometrical designs or be formed into elegant curls. Yet, at the same time, the beauty of pie is in its flavor and rustic charm and does not require perfection or precision. To finance my education, I have to rely on financial aid and scholarships. The biggest challenge to paying for my education is that I am a single parent with a special-needs child. This scholarship will impact my life because I can further develop my baking and pastry skills at one of the top colleges for culinary arts. A degree from the CIA will build on the foundations I have learned at ARC and offer me a broader range of job opportunities.
    Promising Pathways-Single Parent Scholarship
    I am currently studying hospitality management at American River College and will graduate this Spring. I plan to transfer to the Culinary Institute of America in the Fall and earn an A.O.S. in baking and pastry. These degrees will give me a strong foundation when I enter the workforce. Once I have gained four years of industry experience, I would like to enroll in the CIA’s Food Business Administration Bachelor’s Degree program. Afterward, I would like to start my own business. My concept is a pub that serves savory pies and pairs them with beverages selected from local vendors. The menu will be dietary inclusive and offer alternatives for people with restricted diets. I want to use locally sourced ingredients to create pies inspired by regional cuisines. Pie is a food with limitless possibilities and offers never-ending options of variations on the pastry and filling. This concept would be successful because fresh savory pies are a niche concept and I believe, in the right location and with the right promotion, they could become very popular. Also, supporting other small, local operations is important to the survival and growth of the food industry. I believe in the importance of the Farm to Fork Movement, not only for my own benefit but for the benefit of the local economy and my future diners. The movement includes the promotion of farmers' markets and community-supported agriculture programs, as well as the partnerships between local farmers and chefs to develop new and creative dishes that highlight the region's produce. As a result, I would have access to fresher, higher-quality ingredients, promote sustainability, give support to local farmers and the local economy, and unique promotional opportunities. I became a single parent unexpectedly. My son was diagnosed with autism at two years old, and it seemed almost immediately I had to consider the developmental therapy he would need from professionals. During this time, I attempted to pursue an education- and while I performed well in my first semester, my focus crumbled the following year. I struggled with health issues that led to hospitalization and withdrawal from school. I was dealing with an abusive relationship with my son’s father. I was morbidly obese and was suffering from systemic lupus, depression, and anxiety. In the following years, my son attended school, and I had to navigate the world of IEPs and fight for the education he deserved. Despite my struggles, I have been able to move past them and reach the goals I set for myself. I found a physician who cared for my mental health issues and broke my addiction. I was able to leave my abusive relationship. I was able to improve my living situation. Through a healthy diet and exercise, I lost 175 lbs. And am able to manage the symptoms of my autoimmune disease. I returned to school. This also allowed me to demonstrate the importance of education to my child and set an example for him to follow. As a result, I have earned a GPA of 3.87 and am a Phi Theta Kappa member in the Beta Zeta Pi Chapter. School also gave me the opportunity to model time management and good study habits for my child. He also saw me work hard in subjects I struggled in, and I showed him that persistence is key and that just because something is difficult, you don’t give up. All of these goals have accumulated in the larger goal of becoming the person I have always wanted to be and the person I know I am capable of being.
    Your Dream Music Scholarship
    What's Up?" is a song by the group 4 Non Blondes that was released in 1992. The song was written by Linda Perry and is about the struggles and challenges of life. It was not their first single, but the one that would launch them to worldwide success. Perry grew up in an environment where she suffered traumatic abuse. After a suicide attempt at 16, she became more engrossed in songwriting. Her music was fueled by anger at her abusers. At 21, she moved to San Francisco and performed in local bars. She met Christa Hillhouse and Shauna Hall who recruited her along with Wanda Day to form 4 Non-Blondes. The message “What’s Up?” is one of hope and resilience, with the lyrics encouraging listeners to keep their heads up and keep going despite the difficulties they may be facing. Linda expresses frustration about the state of the world and the difficulties she faces in trying to connect with others. The chorus, which repeats the phrase "What's going on?", serves as a call to action, urging others to pay attention to society and to take action to make it a better place. This song has been widely interpreted as a call for social justice, and people facing adversity. This song is important to me because I relate to the themes of frustration, isolation and the search for personal growth and understanding. The lyrics explore Linda’s desire to break free from the constraints that are holding her back. “I try all the time, in this institution/ and I pray, oh my god do I pray/ I pray every single day/For a revolution”. I believe she does not mean a literal institution, but culture at large, and she takes issue with the system to the point of praying for a cultural revolution.
    Gourmet Foods International Culinary Scholarship
    I am convinced that pie is the perfect food. It is portable, versatile, and offers never-ending options of variations on the pastry and filling, either savory or sweet. Pie can be the perfect canvas for creativity, that lump of dough can transform into a work of art- lattices, braids, or a delicate crimp. Fruit slices can become geometrical designs or formed into elegant flowers. Yet, at the same time pie does not require perfection or precision. A warm, rustic apple pie can feel like a hug on a windy autumn day. The versatility of pie is apparent when you consider that structurally it comes in two parts. The crust and the filling. The crust must be able to support the filling and not fall prey to the dreaded “soggy bottom”. Which means the type of flour and fat used, the possibilities of using add-ins like cheese or herbs for that extra kick, and finally, deciding whether to par-bake or blind bake your crust. The top crust is sometimes optional, but often provides a space for creativity. The filling is its own realm of possibilities- and truly is the magical part of pie. Is there anything you cannot put in pie? If the bakers of Medieval Europe could fit a twenty-eight-man orchestra and flocks of birds in pies, I am certain nothing is off limits. Pie has stood the test of time. Wrapping food in dough before cooking it was an ancient practice that became more sophisticated over time. As cooking became more modern, so did pie. What we recognize as pie today, was first seen in 14-15th century Europe. People from every walk of life ate pie, from those of noble birth to the peasant class. I believe this is why there is such a strong, inherent memory of pie in us today. Recipes have been passed down for generations, and so many of us fondly remember our first pie, whether it be a Thanksgiving pie, a warm apple pie, a Christmas berry pie, or even a comfort-food favorite meat pie. I am passionate about pie, and the endless possibilities of pairing it with other dishes and beverages. I would like to open a restaurant that is the combination of a pub and pie shop that selects beer, wine and spirits from local vendors and pairs them with pies experimenting with different flavors, inspired by cuisines from all over the world. Pie is a food with limitless possibilities that has the potential to be elevated to fine dining or be served in your grandmother’s rustic cottage home. Pie is beautiful in any form. Pie evokes feelings of comfort, family, and love. In that sense, it is also the ultimate comfort food.