As the summer draws to a close, we’re eagerly anticipating the new students that we’ll get to meet in the fall. We know that our graduates heading to university and college are feeling the same way about the new connections they’ll make and adventures they’ll have on campuses across the globe. We’d love to introduce you to one of the more unique post-secondary institutions that Virtual High School alum, Jacob Beck, will be attending in September!

Having moved to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts from Charleston, South Carolina nine years ago, Jacob is no stranger to the beauties of the natural world around him. It’s a good thing that he’s headed off to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he’ll have access to countless wilderness trails and more than 400 miles of Atlantic coastline. While there, Jacob will be pursuing the Bakery & Pastry Arts associate degree program:

“Their program is considered one of the best in the United States, offering multiple degree options, international internships, and a network of job opportunities upon graduation. The staff is experienced and well-connected. The majority of their graduates find work quickly in top restaurants around the world. They have also produced many famous chefs and bakers who have found commercial success or have achieved celebrity status.”

Some of the courses available in the Bakery & Pastry Arts program include Principles of Cake Production and Design, Artisan Bread and Viennoiserie, and Chocolate, Confections, & Mignardise. Is it just us or is anybody else feeling hungry? Career options with this degree include chocolatiers, merchandisers, boulangers, and bakery owners, but Jacob plans to become a pastry chef. In fact, Jacob’s role model in the culinary world is Thilanka Hewa, the pastry chef for the Park Hyatt resort in St. Kitts:

“I have watched him make many delicious and difficult creations over the years. He has also taken the time to work with me individually, teaching me about doughs and baking techniques. He always gives me sound advice when it comes to career preparation and planning. He challenges me by making me create my own recipes and always gives supportive, constructive criticism.”


Jacob’s journey from the Caribbean to Rhode Island began with his joint enrolment in St. Kitts International (SKI) Academy and Virtual High School. Students at SKI Academy, a K-12 international school, are taught locally for their first two years of secondary school and then transition to VHS in Grade 11. These students can then complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and move on to post-secondary institutions or directly to the workforce:

“The secondary programs on the island do not align with the credits I needed to attend a university in North America. Therefore, it was beneficial to be able to take courses online from VHS in Ontario that would better prepare me for my path. I think the VHS courses improved my research and organizational skills, as well as forced me to think deeply about the world I am entering.”

Studying with Virtual High School afforded Jacob the flexibility to engage in some of his favourite activities: reading science fiction and fantasy novels, watching culinary documentaries, and baking. He was able to spend more time studying one-on-one with a trained chef and working in a bakery to prepare himself for his future career.

As he treks off to university, Jacob is looking forward to living in the hustle and bustle of a diverse city. He’s excited to meet other people who share his passion for baking and explore the culinary variety of the United States once again. We’re excited because Rhode Island is much closer to our administrative office than St. Kitts, so we might be able to hop over to sample some of Jacob’s baked goods one day!