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Interesting: How an 11-Year-Old MasterChef Contestant, Ben Watkins is Beating the Odds

If we would be honest and say that it’s difficult to have a parent die? It’s even more difficult when both parents die. When children have to experience seeing both parents transition can just about be an impossible task to endure and even overcome. Sadly, many children are unable to move on when both parents aren’t around. On the other hand, there are those children who will persevere in the midst of the setback.

There’s an interesting story of an 11-year-old Masterchef Junior contestant beating the odds and reaching for his dream. Ben Watkins is competing on the nationally watched show despite losing both of his parents last September.

Ben’s father, Michael Watkins shot and killed his mother, Leila Edwards and then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

Before Ben’s parents were killed, he worked at the family restaurant, Big Ben’s Bodacious Barbeque & Deli. Coincidentally, the name of the business was named after him.


With the death of his parents, one may assume that Ben’s love of cooking would have been diminished. However, that’s not the case. According to a story published in The Grio, “On a GoFundMe page, Ben’s neighbor and attorney, Trent A. McCain, asked for funds ‘to see that this tragedy does not derail Ben from reaching his full potential and fulfilling his dreams.’

We want Ben to able to continue his education in the culinary arts wherever he wants to in the world,” McCain wrote.

At the time of this writing, $21,000 has been raised to assist with Ben’s education, welfare, and health.

Fox spokeswoman Allie Hall told The Times of Northwest Indiana, “We are so thrilled to have Ben on this season of MasterChef Junior, and although there have been some trials in his young life, he is really focused on his culinary dreams and time on the show.”

FYI – there are 39 contestants and the winner will receive $100,000.

Let’s keep Ben lifted up and wish him much success.


Written by How Africa

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