CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The Career and Technical Center provides students with opportunities to explore several career fields. They can specialize in a career area that aligns with their passion.
In one area of the school, off Hull Street Road, learning meets linguine. It’s where a career starts cooking. The kitchen of the Chesterfield Technical Center.
Chef Adam Hawkins will tell you it's easy to get his students motivated.
"It's amazing," Hawkins said. “These kids have so much of a stronger mindset, so much more passion for food than I ever did."
His course teaches food preparation and service. And it starts with one important lesson.
"Professionalism. We start professionalism from day one," he said. "It's focusing in and knowing what you're doing."
The Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond and the R.E.B. Foundation recognized six Chesterfield County Public Schools teachers with Teaching Excellence Awards recently that included a cash prize.
Hawkins was the top prize winner of $12,000. Part of that money will go toward renting him and his family an RV for the summer.
"I'm throwing all the kids in it. Two dogs and five kids. By that time, we'll have six kids; we've got one on the way. We're going to trap ourselves in this RV for two and a half months. 42 states."
At every campground they stop, he plans to try and feed 50 people for under $50, then take recipes of local flavor back to the classroom.
"It's all about building fellowship through food," he said. "Everybody says love is the universal language or religion and all that fun stuff. This is about food."
Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 and 6 p.m. on CBS 6 and is sponsored by Virginia Family Dentistry.