A role model is an individual who not only encourages but inspires us to strive for greatness and live to our fullest potential. Teachers are role models in our communities who students admire and aspires to be like. Recently, I was fortunate enough to meet such a role model, Cherie Busch. During our meeting, she shared with us how SmartDraw helped her team of National ProStart Invitational winners earn over $160,000 in college scholarships.
Can you share with us a little about your background and expertise?
I graduated from Sam Houston State University where I studied Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Education. I’m currently in a graduate program studying to be an administrator. Currently, I am a Family and Consumer Science Instructor at New Caney High School in New Caney, TX. My restaurant management course curriculum comes directly from the ProStart program offered by the National Restaurant Association.
What is ProStart?
ProStart is a 2-year high school program that unites industry and classroom experience to develop the best and brightest talent of tomorrow’s restaurant and food service leaders.
- Participant: Over 118,000 students
- Availability: 1,700 high schools
- Locations: Across all 50 states, the Territory of Guam, and the Department of Defense (DOD) schools located throughout Europe and Asia
From management skills to culinary techniques, ProStart’s curriculum provides real-life experience and practical skills that will become the foundation that will last a lifetime.
Learn more about the ProStart Program (video)
Former New Caney Culinary Student and recent graduate, alumni Esteban Torrez represented his team in an interview at the National ProStart Invitational in 2015.
What does ProStart mean to you?
I’ve been part of the program for over 3 years. I love what it has done for my kids. Not every kid is destined to go to a university. It gives them purpose, as well as other avenues in life. We’re not a high income school district. A lot of the students say that “college wasn’t even an option,” that is until they started participating in the ProStart program.
Can you share with us one of your most proud moments as an Educator?
In spring 2015, four of our New Caney High School seniors placed 4th out of 42 teams at the National ProStart Invitational held in Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. In order to get to this level, these students placed 2nd at regional competition which advanced them to the state level where they were named State Champions.
How was your winning ProStart team recognized for their efforts?
Combined, these four students received over $160,000 in college scholarship money from various schools and corporations in the restaurant and hospitality industry. In addition to the scholarship money, they made connections and obtained invaluable insight into the restaurant and food service industry.”
Can you give us some insight of what competing at the National ProStart Invitational entails?
My students entered the Restaurant Management competition where they were tasked to create a 60-page restaurant proposal. They created a Restaurant Concept geared around a set demographic. Within their competition perimeters they developed a written restaurant proposal including but not limited to concept design, menu layout and menu items, marketing, 2 marketing tactics, presentation board, a table display, as well as a 10 minute sales pitch to a panel of judges – Shark Tank style. All in all the team put in well over 1,500 hours of work.
SMARTDRAW: THE SPECIAL INGREDIENT
Why did you select SmartDraw over Chromebook Apps?
To be honest, did not feel the Chromebook Apps were sufficient for the needs of my students. I needed to give my students a tool that would allow them to design well-detailed diagrams. I discovered SmartDraw during an intense online search.”
At the time I paid for it out of my own pocket. I reached out to our district’s technical team year after year to express how important SmartDraw is to my students. It wasn’t until we competed at Nationals in 2015 that our school district finally realized SmartDraw’s potential.”
How did SmartDraw help your winning team?
Initially, you don’t get a real feel for how much we utilized SmartDraw. At least not until you take a look at the weight that the Visual Display and Written Proposal categories combined contribute to the team’s final score. That’s where SmartDraw played a key role.”
Would you be able to share some of your SmartDraw diagrams with us?
Here are two of the floor plans that went to Nationals. With SmartDraw, the students were able to portray what their two-story boat shaped restaurant.
REALIZING SMARTDRAW’S POTENTIAL
I was so intrigued by the program that I took a closer look at the National ProStart Invitational Procedures and Rules. Here is a matrix detailing the possible points earned in the Written Proposal competition against the features and functionality available in SmartDraw.