OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- While preparing flatbread appetizers, topped with shrimp and pesto, 17-year-old Andrew Naumann’s imagination fired with possibilities.
“I kind of got involved because I really didn’t want to eat TV dinners the rest of my life,” Naumann said. “But I just instantly fell in love with it and now I’m actually planning on trying to go to college for it, and making a career out of it.”
Naumann’s experience is precisely what leaders at the Shawnee-Mission School District hoped for when they opened the ‘Broadmoor Bistro’ at the district’s new Center for Achievement in Overland Park.
“The program has been around for about 16 years now, but this is our first opening night with actual customers in our new location,” said Justin Hoffman, the Culinary Arts Instructor at Broadmoor Bistro.
The bistro opened to the public at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. Other teens in the program, like Reis Miller, have been counting down the days.
Miller is a sophomore at Shawnee-Mission Northwest High School who says this culinary arts program is giving him something to shoot for, after graduation.
“It’s a really good feeling to have, because I know I'm going to be able to walk out of here and go get a job somewhere, and be successful in life,” said Miller.
After completing the program, students can graduate with nearly the equivalent of a year’s worth of college credit in the culinary arts, and at the very least, a leg-up in the job market.
“Not everybody's going to go to college and we understand that,” Hoffman continued. “So we're teaching them skills to go out and get a job and be a part of the workforce.”