Still Making Cakes


It’s amazing what can be produced from a package of Oreos, jar of peanut butter and can of Dr. Pepper when coupled with determination, creativity and a positive attitude! Transforming these ingredients into a scrumptious cake is a reflection of the motivation and ingenuity required to make the most of a challenging situation. “Turning lemons into lemonade” came to life on a hot summer day in the cafeteria at TEEM. Participants were given the opportunity to demonstrate the resourceful process of making a cake with limited resources in challenging circumstances. The scrumptious product was produced from ingredients commonly obtained through the commissary, vending machine and a microwave oven. The result sparked a WOW-factor in the taste buds of those fortunate enough to experience the delicious dessert!  

Unfortunately, personal tragedy often causes many people to give up and quit trying. Fear, pain, mistakes, or disappointment leave many unable to find the good and stop believing things will ever get better. As a result, hope is lost and celebrations cease to exist. In short, these individuals stop making cakes. Adversity shouldn’t stop an individual from making the best of a situation. The goal is to use available resources, however limited, in meaningful, creative and productive ways to redeem unpleasant circumstances. When life offers a challenging predicament, one should respond appropriately. A person may or may not be responsible for the cause, but he/she is responsible for the response. And, ultimately, the response may determine the outcome.

A person’s response reveals his/her character.  The participants at TEEM are taking necessary steps to overcome previous stumbles and prepare for future strides. They are responding appropriately to challenging environments, making productive use of time and utilizing available resources. They are finding hope, learning to overcome adversity, committed to successful reentry into society...and still making cakes.