Olivia Gilchrist: Baking a Difference
Nine-year-old Olivia Gilchrist is already an avid baker. She also loves to enter pageants, so she melded the two together, making her pageant platform “Baking a Difference with Olivia.” She discovered that she could bring a smile to peoples’ faces by sharing her baked goods. Olivia bakes treats for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House, for the homeless, and she recently delivered baked goods to the Broken Arrow Police Department.
Olivia: I LOVE to bake! Baking a Difference with Olivia is dear to my heart because I may only be 9 years old, but I am very aware that many people are struggling in my hometown of Tulsa. Something as simple as a homemade chocolate chip cookie or warm brownies can bring a smile to anyone’s face. Science proves food is truly good for the soul. When I “bake a difference,” my favorite part is knowing that I may be helping someone who is having a hard day feel better.
Did you know that studies show that eating a homemade, warm chocolate chip cookie takes most adults back to a happier time in life? I want to promote how baking and cooking are truly good for the soul of any person at any age.
TK: How did you learn to bake?
Olivia: I learned to bake because of my parents. My mom always lets me help in the kitchen, and my dad taught me how to scramble eggs when I was 3.
TK: Tell us about one of your memorable experiences with baking.
Olivia: A dad came by the kitchen (at the Ronald McDonald House). I was making five pans of brownies. He was touring the facility because his child was in the hospital, and they needed to be close to him. You could see that the weight of the world was on his shoulders, and he saw me bring out the warm brownies and smiled at me. He took one, saying “Thank you so much for this! This is just what I needed.” Who knows? Maybe because of that one simple act his day got just a little bit brighter.
TK: What advice would you give other kids who might want to help others?
Olivia: You are never too young to make a difference. There are so many opportunities here in Tulsa for kids to volunteer. Find what you are passionate about and then have your parents help you search online for areas you could volunteer that fit your passion. You will not regret it.
TK: What other interests do you have besides baking?
Olivia: I LOVE to do pageants. I am currently the National American Miss Oklahoma Jr. Pre-teen for 2022-2023. When I am on stage I feel at home. I also love to woodwork in the garage with my dad. We have made so many cool things together. I love learning about the weather and the human brain. It is all so cool. I am currently learning to use fondant on my cakes.
TK: Who inspires you?
Olivia: I am inspired by Mike Collier, our local weatherman. I want to be a meteorologist one day, and I had to opportunity to meet him a few months ago and get a tour of the awesome Channel 2 weather car. It was so neat. He inspires me to keep learning about weather and pursuing my career of one day becoming a chief meteorologist.
TK: What plans do you have for your future?
Olivia: My hope for the future is to continue doing what I love, which is pageants, do good in school and just enjoy being a kid. BUT for my future goal, watch for me on our local news channel in a few years as Tulsa’s own female chief meteorologist Olivia Gilchrist.