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Wanda Cantrell, Culinary Arts Student

“I love the HCAT Institute.  It’s exciting to work with professional chefs.”

Wanda is working very hard to pursue her dreams. She’s been employed in the catering business for over 12 years.  A few years ago, she took a noncredit food presentation class to help make her culinary creations more appealing.  She found out about the programs offered by the Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute and how beautiful the facility was and was hooked. Next fall, she’ll finish her degree in food and beverage management but it hasn’t come without a lot of sacrifice.

Wanda lives in Calvert County and travels about two hours to get to the HCAT Institute in Glen Burnie.  She and her husband are raising five daughters.  Recently, her husband took on an extra part-time job so that she could quit working and go to school full time. It’s an incredible balancing act for both of them.

“I’d rather pursue my passions and dreams than settle for the status quo.  There are other things that are more important than money.”

She hopes she is providing a good role model for her daughters to pursue their dreams and do well in school.  Wanda joined the army after a brief attempt at college.  It was a good experience for her but she didn’t get the career training that she had been promised.  When she met her husband and started her family, she fell into the catering business and now has actually started her own business. That’s one of the reasons that she’s so enthusiastic about the HCAT Institute—she’s gotten good practical advice that she can use.

“I like the hands-on approach they use in teaching.  The chefs are so approachable. They give you help with your questions about your business.”

Wanda says that she would encourage anyone to come to AACC.  The education is second to none and as a side benefit, the cost is affordable.  A very important factor when raising five girls!