The Sweet Spot

Two NASH juniors have teamed up to bake treats for a worthy cause.


photo by Abby Pingpank

Ashna Patel, Lena Voss, Carsyn Nash, and founder Ana Key gathering ingredients to bake some treats for a good cause.

Abby Pingpank, Staff Writer

NASH students take pride in the multitude of ways they give back to the community, but one service club, new to the school this year, figured out how to make charity taste good, too.

The Baking Club was introduced at NASH this year by Ana Key and Angeline Chalifoux. The two juniors started the club to share their interest in the kitchen and help the needy in the Pittsburgh area.

At our church, Ana was put in charge of running a volunteer opportunity where families came in and helped to bake desserts for nonprofit organizations,” said Chalifoux. “She used that experience as inspiration to start something similar that students could participate in at school. Since I had helped her with the event at church, she asked me to help her in founding the club.” 

Key is certain;y no newcomer to the kitchen.

“I would always bake for my friends in middle school,” she said.

Both Key and Chalifoux agreed that the Baking Club represents a simple act of kindness that many NASH students can find interest in.

“I thought that it would be a great opportunity for students to give back to their community, as it is a simple way to give your time to someone else,” said Chalifoux. 

As the girls’ lives grew busier in high school, they saw the club also as a way to keep up with their favorite hobby.

“When I got to high school, I didn’t have much time to bake at home as I used to, so I thought a great way to spread and share the baking love was to start a club at school,” Key said. “I told my friends to join when I was in 10th grade at NAI, and from there we’ve expanded to NASH.”

When the girls arrived at NASH this past year, they expected a new challenge.

We got more participants down at NAI, but we understand that, with people’s after-school activities and the workload at NASH, it is more difficult to stay after school,” said Key.

At each meeting, the members bake three different desserts that get distributed to three nonprofit organizations in the Northern Pittsburgh area.

“Each meeting after we make the sweets (and eat a few!), they go to organizations like Outreached Arms, which serves homeless people downtown; Concordia, an elderly residence home; and Mars Home For Youth, a youth shelter.”

The current school closure has certainly given the girls more time to re-acquaint themselves with the home kitchens, but they’re looking forward growing club membership once school resumes in the fall.

“I think it was extremely successful this year, and we are so thankful for everyone who participated,” Chalifoux said. “We would like to see some more boys attend, though.”

Key was eager to point out that the club offers just the right recipe for NASH’s over-stressed juniors and seniors.

“We hope to bring students together in a welcoming, vibrant, enjoyable environment where they can indulge in a chill activity for about an hour,” she said. “I know being an upperclassman can often affect the amount of time we have for leisure, so the Baking Club hopes to fill that void for its members.”

And above all, the baked goods go to the greater good.

“This is simply an attempt to employ our baking abilities to make a positive impact on the lives of those outside NA,” Key said. “We strive to reach out to others in the community who may need a little sugar boost to brighten their day.”