IRMO – Baking is the passion of one Lexington-Richland School District Five student who took her talents to the Food Network.
Eleven-year old Elise Sammis (Chapin Intermediate) decided to apply for the Kid Baking Championship while she was off from school because of Hurricane Matthew in September of 2018.
“We missed five days of school because of Hurricane Matthew…so I just started researching baking competitions,” Elise said. “I found the Kids Baking Championship and I made a video and sent it in. I remember my mom told me not to get my hopes up because she thought no one would ever see my video.”
After about six months, she finally heard from producers of the show, who asked her to make some more videos. After several months of auditions, producers flew her out to Los Angeles with several other young bakers, all competing to be on the show. She passed the final audition and was selected as one of 12 young bakers to appear on the show.
“I am the first person from Chapin, South Carolina to be on the Kids Baking Championship and I was super excited,” Elise said. “We filmed the show over the summer and it was a lot of fun and I met a lot of people that I am still in contact with today.”
Elise began baking when she was nine years old after she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D), often referred to as Juvenile Diabetes.
“When I was diagnosed with Diabetes it was really stressful because there was a lot to take in. I just started baking and it helped me be creative,” Elise said. “I feel like if I didn’t have Diabetes than I wouldn’t have gone on the baking show because I feel like it has pushed me to do a lot more things that I would not even think about doing if I didn’t have it.”
Elise’s mother, Natalie Sammis, believes her daughter is an inspiration because she never lets her Diabetes be an excuse or a reason why she can’t do something.
“I think she is an inspiration of positivity. She just takes life and deals with setbacks and never uses her diabetes or anything else as a negative,” Natalie Sammis said.
Elise hopes this experience shows other people that if you have something in your life holding you back that you shouldn’t let it stop you from following your dreams.
The principal at Chapin Intermediate School Ed Davis added, “Here at Chapin Intermediate we’re proud of Elise. We’re proud of her for building her Eagle Strength and doing it in a very public way through the Food Network. If you think about her journey and what it took to get on the program, it is a true testament of Eagle Strength and we are so proud that she is showing that to the world.”