Sainabou Jobe began cooking dinner for her family when she turned 13. She began with simple stir fries and advanced to complex handmade pastas.
Every week, Jobe would spend long evenings in the kitchen experimenting over the stove. She quickly became her household’s star chef and eventually a baker too.
“Cooking and baking make me feel so relieved and make me want to stay in the kitchen all day,” she said.
Now 16 years old, Jobe cooks family meals biweekly and bakes sweet goods while continuing her education at Achievement First Amistad High School in New Haven.
As a rising junior, Jobe is part of the National Honors Society and a soon-to-be tennis club member. Outside of clubs, she is dedicating part of the summer helping out at her local library.
Jobe said she is close to her family because they have helped her in pursuing her love for cooking.
Her mother, Olimatou Seesay-Jobe, works as a driver for the elderly; her father, Ebrime Jobe, is a health inspector. She also has an 11-year-old brother, Alassan, and a 6-year-old sister, Rahmatoulie. Although her siblings are her harshest food critics, she said they inspire her to be a better cook.
Jobe is thinking of pursuing a career in law, influenced by her favorite crime and law shows including, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal, as well as her love for arguing and debating.
She has one simple wish: to become a figurative piggy bank. Jobe said she hopes to become a financial support to both her family and community.
“Do whatever makes you happy because life is too short,” she said.
Amy Zheng is a senior at Hall High School, West Hartford.