This takes the cake: 15-year-old with autism wins top prize at county baking competition

15-year-old boy with autism wins first place at county baking competition

OCONEE COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia teen with autism is taking baking to a new level.

Jack Leach, a 15-year-old who has autism and is nonverbal, won a contest for whipping up the best dessert. Grandmother Donna Leach said she taught Jack how to bake.

“Could not be more proud of this kid,” Leach told WSB-TV. “He’s a hard worker. He’s the best.”

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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,’” father Brent Leach said.

But what happened last weekend really took the cake.

Jack’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.

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

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

Jack Leach, a 15-year-old who has autism and is nonverbal, won a contest for whipping up the best dessert.
Jack Leach, a 15-year-old who has autism and is nonverbal, won a contest for whipping up the best dessert. (WSBTV.com/WSBTV.com)