Sheena Infante Davis
Earning an associate degree in Restaurant Food Services Management was a huge accomplishment for Sheena Infante Davis. Sheena entered the foster care system as a 6-year-old, living in seven different homes before being adopted, at age 15, by a single foster mother with whom she had been living for a year. The adoption was welcome, but also posed challenges that first year, including a new home, a new school, and a new sibling when her Mom gave birth to a new brother!
Sheena entered Gateway after graduating high school. She did well at first, but personal struggles, including family health issues and financial challenges, caused her to leave school. She became a certified nursing assistant, working overnight to support herself, but never gave up her dream of returning to college. “I wanted to finish what I started,” she explains.
‘Gateway opened a lot of new opportunities and relationships for me.’Sheena Infante Davis
She did just that by returning to Gateway in 2018, deciding to make her love of cooking and baking, discovered in the kitchen of an earlier foster home, her career goal. “Coming back to Gateway was a fresh start,” Sheena says. “It opened a lot of new opportunities and relationships for me.” She found yet another new “home” at the college, crediting the support and encouragement she received from Gateway faculty and staff for her success. She also is grateful for scholarship support she received from the Gateway Community College Foundation, including the $2,000 Chaine des Rostisseurs CT Bailliage Scholarship, which she was awarded for two consecutive years.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheena, now 24, was able to complete her graduation requirements, including finishing her internship hours this past summer. She now works 30+ hours a week as a line cook at one former internship site – the Hook and Ladder, located in the Best Western Plus North Haven Hotel. She’s excited to be living on her own, in an apartment in New Haven’s Wooster Square neighborhood. She also continues to “bake her heart out” via her own business, Sweet Sprinkles of Love. She hopes one day to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of New Haven.