This takes the cake: 15-year-old with autism wins 1st in county baking competition

OCONEE COUNTY, Ga. — An Oconee County teen is taking baking to a new level.

Jack Leach, a 15-year-old who has autism and is nonverbal, just won a contest for whipping up the best dessert.

Brent Leach told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen it’s a reality many parents have to come to terms with.

"Eventually, you're gonna be gone. Your kid will be left behind. Fortunately, I have two daughters to help him when I’m gone. But it's still worrisome," Brent Leach said.

"Could not be more proud of this kid. He's a hard worker. He's the best," grandmother Donna Leach said.

Donna Leach said she was the person who taught her grandson how to bake.

Cheesecakes are his specialty. The teen took some to Oconee Middle School to help raise money for his special-needs class.

"And they just kept saying: ‘You need to start selling these. These are the best cheesecakes we ever had,’” Brent Leach said.

But what happened last weekend really took the cake.

Jack Leach's cheesecakes were entered in the Taste of Oconee contest.

Even though he was up against a couple dozen area restaurants, the teen won first prize for the best dessert.

"It's a really proud moment. When I tell people Jack does most of the baking at Jack's Cheesecake, we're not kidding," Brent Leach said.

And it just might be the start of something big.

"To know he can do a skill. It's nice to know he knows how to make a living for himself,” Brent Leach said.

“Jack’s Cheesecake” is on Facebook. But Brent Leach says the dream is to one day open a store and employ some of his son’s special-needs friends.

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