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Cold weather doesn’t affect Brianna Buhrow. Not while the 17-year-old Chippewa Falls High School senior works at Goodies Sweet Treats and More, 18220 County X, Chippewa Falls.

“It’s always warm in the bakery, super warm,” she said. “It feels like summer all of the time.”

Buhrow has worked at Goodies since May under Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship Program. She’s one of 3,600 students working for 2,046 companies in the state under the program.

Her work is being noticed.

Buhrow, the daughter of David and Nancy Buhrow, was one of four students in the program selected to attend Tuesday’s State of the State Address by Gov. Scott Walker. She got to go inside Walker’s office and meet him.

Walker introduced her and three other students in the program during the speech before state representatives and senators.

“Gavyn, Matthew, Caitlin and Brianna are just a few of the students who got a head start on their career through youth apprenticeships offered while they are in high school,” Walker said during the address. “This program has more than doubled since we took office. Thanks to all of you for being here this afternoon.”

With that, the students stood up and were greeted with applause.

“It was kind of like, ‘I shouldn’t be there.’ It was very exciting,” she said. “It was nice to be there to witness politics and what goes on and everything.”

Buhrow was selected for the honor after John Goodman of CESA 10 in Chippewa Falls left a message for Laura Bushendorf, the high school’s career and technical education coordinator. Goodman explained the governor wanted students to represent the youth apprenticeship program. Bushendorf then nominated Buhrow for the honor, and that led to her trip to Madison on Tuesday.

She kept the trip quiet. The school put out a couple of tweets on Twitter about her going to the State of the State address. She then explained to inquiring students that she was mentioned during Walker’s speech.

Perhaps just as exciting, Buhrow got a chance to pursue a passion of hers. She completed Chi-Hi’s cooking classes in her junior year.

“My love is baking,” she said.

She began cooking with her grandmother. When she was five, she got an “Easy Bake” toy oven.

Today, she enjoys baking cakes.

“I love decorating them; to make them extravagant and unique,” she said.

Buhrow said Goodies’ owner Kelly Poppe-Gale has been a mentor to her, and she thanks Poppe-Gale and Buschendorf for the chance to work at the bakery.

She hopes to continue there this summer, and then attend one of two universities that have already accepted her: the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse or the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

She wants to major in business while in college and eventually own her own bakery.

And with her head start, that’s a sweet dream within her reach.


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