My Collaboration with State Farm Neighborhood of Good

This post is sponsored by State Farm®.

I recently partnered with a State Farm Center Neighborhood of Good Initiative and began teaching baking classes to teenage girls on Chicago’s southside. It’s been such a rewarding experience!


Jocelyn taking a selfie with her baking students for the State Farm Neighborhood of Good


Since I started Grandbaby Cakes five years ago, the most incredible experiences I have had have been those where I used my brand to give back in my local community. Throughout my website you may have seen posts about my bake sale “A Charitable Confection,” which raised funds for an inner city violence organization, or my partnerships with the Girl Scouts of America. I think about all of those experiences, and I can’t explain how excited I am to announce a new collaboration, with State Farm Neighborhood of Good®.

One student pouring a mixture into a pan A student cracking an egg with Jocelyn in the foreground


Last week, I started teaching a weekly baking workshop to high school students as an afterschool program at the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago. The Gary Comer Center is the most incredible place where students of all ages can go to a safe environment to prepare for college and careers after high school. They offer various programming in all areas, and the center itself is spectacular and state of the art.

Jocelyn whisking cake batter with more students in the background


I can’t even explain the level of excitement and joy I received from this experience. Our first class was all about homemade pies, and I quickly discovered that there would definitely be a large learning curve since none of the students had ever baked pie or baked anything from scratch before. That made me even more determined to show them how it was something they could accomplish, even in our two hour class.

A pie crust and pie batter next to a rolling pin, sugar and flour A student patting down her pie crust in a black and white photo

The students committed to learning something new and had an amazing time. I can’t tell you the number of times we laughed and joked around in the midst of our baking process. Sometimes it got hard. The pie crust portion was definitely complicated, and some wanted to give up because it didn’t come as easy as they thought it would. But by the end of the class, everyone had a homemade pie that they baked to take home. I was so proud of them. This week, we are baking cupcakes, and in our final classes, we will conquer bread and cookies.

One student adding pie filling to a pie crust


I am so excited to continue teaching them these new skills but most importantly, I am excited to motivate many of you to get involved in your communities and do something similar. Regardless of whether your skill is cooking and baking or something entirely different, you can make a difference. State Farm Neighborhood of Good makes it so easy for you to find opportunities right in your area. Simply visit and add your zip code and any interests you have. You can select anything from Adult Education to Disaster and Emergency Services—the options for getting involved are endless. The benefits are endless too, not just for those you affect but for yourself as well.

Three students looking at their pies as they wait their turn to put the pies in the oven

Stay tuned for my next post on how our classes are going and the life changing experience we are all having. I can’t wait to share more!

Photos by Lawrence Agyei

Disclosure: I teamed up with State Farm on this initiative, but all opinions expressed here are my own. I am grateful for opportunities like this that allow me to work with brands that match Grandbaby Cakes’ values so authentically.

Filed Under:  Features, Life Stuff and Reviews


  1. What an awesome and fun way to make a difference! I’ll have to check this out and maybe get my older kids involved, too!

  2. What a fantastic way to give back to the community! I’m sure they were thrilled to have you there. I need to check out this organization and see what’s available around me, thank you!

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