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From a Texas ProStart Student: Finding Opportunities

Mar 26
2015

The food service industry is an important part of the United States economy and supplies around four million jobs. The ability to cook for yourself can help you to not only care for yourself but can also help people to lead healthier lifestyles. These reasons along with my love of food were enough for me to take the Texas ProStart program. Going into my senior year I did not know what it was that I wanted to do after high school be it continuing my education, getting a full time job, etc. But one thing I learned from friends of mine both in school and post graduation was that you could almost always find a job somewhere in the food industry. Not only for full time work but also if you just needed a little extra cash to start paying off those college loans. After being in the Texas ProStart program it's no wonder that so many people rely on the food industry. In a restaurant alone you need to have chefs, sous chefs, line chefs, and dish washers. That's just the back of the house! The Texas ProStart program has not only met my expectation that I would learn how to cook lots of food and begin mastering new techniques. But I have also began to learn a lot of what is involved in the actual kitchen, such as safety. The class not only gave me an opportunity to get a food handlers permit which is needed for any food related work but also provided me with the opportunity to learn past that into things like the different kinds of fires and their appropriate extinguishers. The Texas ProStart program is so much more than a cooking class. What surprised me the most about the program is the amount of real world opportunities that it has already provided us. Besides getting hands on experience with knife skills and other things. In October I had the pleasure of accompanying the advanced class on a trip to the Texas ProStart Golf Classic. We brought food that was prepared the day before and helped to cater the event. We got to learn all about what it took to run a successful catering operation. Another time I was surprised by the program was when we were given the opportunity of running our own restaurant to serve teachers.These are all experiences that will definitely make us more effective in the future and help us in our careers. I joined the ProStart program so that I could grow my interest in food and look into a prospective career path but have gotten much more than that. I have learned about all of the different opportunities the food industry provides, have learned what it takes to work in the industry, and have gotten real world experience.

Guest Blog by Greg Drews, student, John B. Connally High School, Austin, Texas The Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation's Texas ProStart program  is a two-year, industry-based high school culinary and restaurant management program. It is currently in 220 Texas high schools, reaching 20,000+ students each year. The Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation is the philanthropic foundation of the Texas Restaurant Association. It's mission is to provide opportunities for restaurant careers in Texas.

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