Taylor Wideman wants to be a pastry chef.

“I’ve been baking since I was little. Whenever my mom was baking, I would help her,” said Wideman, a Salado High School senior. “I’m pursuing a pastry school in Austin.”

Wideman got a feel for what it would be like studying culinary arts in college during the second annual Career Exploration event Friday at Central Texas College.

“It’s pretty cool. I haven’t made crepes before, so this is my first try,” Wideman said. “Creating something from scratch builds that confidence that you can do it. ... My goal is to make wedding cakes.”

Wideman was among more than 300 high school students from nine Central Texas school districts who broke into groups and explored a variety of career opportunities, including nursing, engineering, culinary arts, homeland security, entrepreneurship, aviation and computer science.

“The idea is to help students get a better idea of what they want to do upon graduation,” said Angela Reese, who helped organize the event. “They actually get to choose a career field and do a hands-on project.”

Florence High School sophomore Jacob Dasuta isn’t sure what he wants to do when he graduates. But flying with his dad, who is a pilot, piqued his interest in aviation. The students in his group practiced flying airplanes using a simulator.

“It was fun,” Dasuta said.

Reese, who is a professor and online manager for CTC’s business administration and paralegal department, said students already learn about different fields at their high schools, but visiting a college campus lets them learn from professors.

“The quicker you’re exposed to college and career, the quicker you’re going to realize actually what field you want to go into,” Reese said.

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow her on Twitter at SarahRafique or "like" Sarah Rafique.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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