Ninth grade: Cami Barney, San Joaquin Memorial

The Fresno BeeMay 26, 2012 

Don't tell Cami Barney you can't make a buck in these tough economic times.

The ninth-grader at Memorial High used her passion and skills at baking cakes to start her own business last summer. Within seven months, the 15-year-old turned a profit of $2,000 with "Cami's Cakes."

"It was the summer, and I really had nothing to do," Cami said. "We had a lot of cake ingredients around. I like baking. My mom encouraged me to start my own baking business. We sent out samples to people in the neighborhood. People started ordering.

"By the winter, I had to make 24 cakes just for Christmas Eve. It's a lot of fun, and I get to make money to do something I enjoy doing. I have my own menu and everything."

Cami can make about 15 different types of cakes. She bakes after school and delivers them on the weekends with her parents' help since Cami doesn't have a driver's license or a permit just yet.

Cami also donates her cakes to support local fundraisers, such as the Invisible Children Club.

And though Cami wants to start her own bakery business once she's done with college, she makes sure that school remains her top priority right now. Her 4.0 grade-point average proves it.

"School first," Cami said. "Baking second."

More about Cami

Age: 15

School: San Joaquin Memorial

Home: Fresno

Parents: Rex and Jennifer Barney

Achievements: 4.0 GPA; California Scholarship Federation, Principal's Honor Roll, Computech Honor Roll, Service Club member, Junior Ministers of Presence for Catholic charities, plays cello and piano


Ninth grade Honorable Mentions

JUSTIN VAN BEURDEN, 15, Fresno

School: Clovis West

Parents: Erik and Jodi Van Beurden

Achievements: Justin has received straight-A's his entire life, while also taking accelerated courses; this school year, he was in classes that are typically reserved for juniors. He's active in the freshman spirit club, and he plays for the highly regarded Clovis West basketball program. Justin also has coached two "little Hoopster" teams of kindergartners. Justin has volunteered at Fairwinds Woodward Park retirement community, helping call out bingo numbers.

NATHAN CABEZUT, 15, Clovis

School: Clovis High

Parents: Thomas and Michelle Cabezut

Achievements: Ever since the first grade, Nathan has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average while also maintaining an active extracurricular life. Nathan plays golf and tennis, and participated in Academic Decathlon. His science fair project was an electromagnetic drive automobile. Nathan has goals of attending either MIT, Stanford or Cal Poly.

MIKAELA CAROLYN HARRIS, 15, Fresno

School: San Joaquin Memorial

Parents: John and Kina Harris

Achievements: Mikaela does a little bit of everything. She sports a 4.0 grade-point average while taking honors classes, participates in cheerleading, plays basketball, competes in Academic Decathlon and served as freshman class president. Mikaela also has played the piano for eight years and composes music. Her leadership helped set up Campus Beautification Day at her high school, getting donations for the lunch and making fliers.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6362, banteola@fresnobee.com or on Twitter @Banteola_TheBee