A recipe for success

Published 05.13.2021

Danielle Wesneski

by Danielle Wesneski

Baking and Pastry Arts and Applied Management graduate


As the end of my senior year approaches and I reflect on my time at Penn College, I am filled with so many emotions: joy, sadness, excitement, nervousness, but mostly gratitude.

I am grateful for the lessons I learned, the friends I made, the professors who served as mentors, and the activities on campus that allowed me to learn and grow. I would like to take a few moments to share highlights and my feeling of gratitude.

My Penn College journey started when I was 15 years old and has continued for seven years! I’m from Williamsport, so many Penn College NOW dual enrollment courses were available to me. During three years of high school, I accumulated 23 college credits. The program gave me the chance to experience college classes before becoming a college student and to understand the hard work it takes to be successful in college. I remember my first visit to Penn College. I was in eighth grade and toured for a career day with Williamsport Area High School.

After making a chocolate butterfly during Chef Charles Niedermyer’s demo, I knew baking and pastry arts would be my passion.

As I considered my future toward the end of high school, I knew I had a choice: enroll in college or transition directly into the workforce. I considered not going to college at all or simply going for a two-year associate degree. Scholarship support encouraged me to attend for two years and earn an associate degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. During my final semester, I discovered many of the scholarships I had received were eligible for four years. I chose to continue my education and pursue a bachelor’s degree in Applied Management. The experience has been more than I have ever imagined!

During my four-year college career, I have had the opportunity to hold leadership positions as a Presidential Student Ambassador, Student College Relations Assistant, and Baking and Pastry Lab Assistant. I’ve been an active member in a variety of clubs and organizations. I’ve completed valuable internships and served thousands at the Kentucky Derby! The Penn College community inspired my academic success and helped me develop soft skills while I grew personally and professionally. I am excited to announce that I have recently accepted the position of Catering Operations Supervisor at Ard’s Farms – an opportunity that would not have been possible without scholarship support.

A view from Danielle’s work area during a one-of-a-kind learning experience at the Kentucky Derby.

A view from Danielle’s work area during a one-of-a-kind learning experience at the Kentucky Derby.

Commencement will be bittersweet. As I prepare to leave Penn College, and Williamsport, I look back with joy, sadness, and pride. There were so many amazing opportunities, memories, and friendships forged during late-night study sessions and club activities. I would not trade these years for anything. All things must come to an end, however, so as I look toward the future, the feeling of gratitude returns. Today, I give thanks to scholarship donors for helping thousands of Penn College students, like me, earn degrees that work.