Daniella Sanchez’s dream started with a toy oven.
The University of Houston-Victoria sophomore recalled she was about 9 years old when she received the toy as a gift. With the oven’s just-add-water mixes and easy-to-follow instructions, she began flexing her culinary muscles.
As it turns out, she stumbled across a natural talent.
“I realized it was something I really enjoyed,” she said of her light bulb-baked confections. “From there, my mom started teaching me how to really cook. I fell in love with cupcakes.”
Today, the business management major hopes to transform that love of baking into a career and eventually open her own cupcake shop.
It’s a goal her friends and family fully support.
“When I’m home for the weekends or just back for a visit, they ask for cupcakes,” she said with a laugh, noting that yellow cake with chocolate frosting is her personal specialty. “I’m glad they enjoy them.”
Sanchez, a San Antonio native, graduated from Jubilee Academic Center in 2012 before joining UHV.
She admitted that between the course load, study schedule and other new territory, college life took some adjustment. Still, it was a good fit.
“It’s different – definitely different than what I was used to – but I’ve really loved it,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of great friends this first year, and they became family. It’s been a great experience.”
Courses and cupcakes keep her busy, but a few other hobbies also join the mix. Sanchez enjoys hanging out with friends, camping and playing a wide range of sports.
With summer now upon her, she plans to kick back and relax with her family. Still, once the break reaches its end, the 18-year-old looks forward to returning to UHV.
Sanchez encouraged other students just starting out in school to branch out and meet new people. At the start of her freshman year, she met new friends and honed in a new hobby at the Jaguar Hall pool tables.
Above all, however, she advised others to be themselves.
“Have as much fun as you can, doing whatever you’re into,” she said. “Don’t try to be someone you’re not because that never works. People are going to like you for who you are.”
I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler , UHV director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.