Our Trainers

French Bakery

Our French bakery and pastry classes are taught by two SYB graduates: one each from the 6th and 8th batches. Based on their outstanding capabilities, SYB selected Wang Jinyi (Adele) and Liu Dong (Max) to study at the “Ecole Française de Boulangerie et Pâtisserie d’Aurillac” (EFBPA), a partner of SYB and one of the best French bakery schools in France. Prior to their studies in France, the students enrolled in an intensive French language course thanks to the support of Alliance Française in Shanghai. They also had the opportunity to take two additional months of French classes at Vichy Cavilam in France before starting their programme. After a lot of hard work in both the theory and practical classes, they successfully graduated with the C.A.P. diploma from EFBPA. Following their return to Shanghai in June 2018, they are now teaching our current students: Liu Dong is teaching bakery and Wang Jinyi pastry. 

Our efforts towards a sustainable training/sustainability

The two teachers are already the third group of graduates who were selected to study at EFBPA in France. Indeed, in 2011, Zhang Zhenghai, Wang Li and Xiao Jinjin, graduates from the first class of the SYB program, obtained their C.A.P. diploma and went on to teach SYB students for four consecutive years. In 2015, Jin Huizi and Zhang Shuai also completed their training in France. All seven of them are living examples of how our programme can successfully train bakers, but more importantly, develop socially-minded citizens who are ready to give back to society through the skills that they have acquired from SYB.

Previously, SYB was blessed with having Thomas Kalkhoven to teach in our program. Thomas Kalkhoven is a Chinese-speaking French baker with a passion for teaching. Thanks to Lesaffre’s support, who recommended him to SYB as a part-time trainer, Thomas taught the second and the third batches of students with unwavering dedication and patience.

The pilot programme (Feb-July 2009) was taught by volunteer bakery teachers Loic Ledru and David Shen during their free time. Read more about SYB’s history here.

Social Educator

SYB hires a full-time social educator to coordinate student activities and accompany the students during their one-year training programme. As all of the students have encountered family and financial difficulties and come from rural areas, Ms Zhu's experience in teaching and guiding Chinese youth is particularly valuable in cultivating the students’ self-esteem and independence. Under her guidance and encouragement, students develop a sense of responsibility, team spirit and find their own direction in life.

Chinese-style Western Pastry

Since the founding of SYB, the Caoyang Vocational School has assigned professional Chinese pastry teachers to teach our students. Currently, Xu Laoshi leads the training by providing practical classes every Monday.

Life Skills


For marginalized youths to succeed in modern society, a technical skill is but one of the many skills that they have to master. They also need to be strong mentally, so as to able to cope with stress, setbacks, and difficulties in life. Since most rural youths grew up in environments in which they were not nurtured with love and were exposed to numerous negative habits and influences, SYB aims to rectify this situation by instilling the students with a conscientious spirit of citizenship, responsibility, optimism, and respect for others through a life skills curriculum developed by an expert team led by Professor Li Xiaowen of East China Normal University. The curriculum is taught by professionals with extensive experience in guiding and nurturing young people, and will equip the students with the mental fortitude and personal discipline necessary for them to succeed in the future.


In order to better communicate with foreign chefs in hotels, students need to learn basic English. To this end, SYB collaborates with Stepping Stones to deliver English classes to our students. Twice a week, volunteers from Stepping Stones teach oral English and kitchen vocabulary to our students through interactive games and dialogues. Learning a foreign language is more than just learning to communicate; it also boosts our students’ confidence in themselves. In general, our students really enjoy the English classes.