ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) More than 200 Winters ISD students got a sneak peek of life after high school by visiting multiple businesses in Abilene across different career fields. Students were able to explore opportunities at Great Lakes Cheese, Hendrick Health, John Deere, HEB, Condley and Company, Arrow Ford, Double Tree by Hilton, and more.

Winters ISD Senior Mikaela Aguero said she will be a first-generation college student.

“I can feel the pressure of being the first child to go to college. I guess they experienced everything with me first. I give my sisters a little lift off their back off their shoulders,” said Aguero.

Although she plans to be a teacher, she is grateful for the opportunity to explore different career paths.

“I’m happy that our school brought us on this trip. I feel like it gives us a different view of the world,” expressed Aguero.

Gabriel Espino is also a senior with plans to work in agriculture.

“I always worked with my dad at a ranch… he’s done a lot of mechanic work and working along tractors,” said Aguero.

While visiting John Deere in Abilene, he got some hands-on experience.

“So I was planning on going to TSTC in Sweetwater. I plan on becoming a diesel technician and seeing all this enforces me to go even more, I guess,” added Espino.

Conner Willis with John Deere shared he loves teaching younger generations about the field, especially now since the industry is facing a labor shortage.

“Technicians don’t grow on trees anymore, and so what we decided to do is invest in our youth to build those technicians from the ground up,” expressed Willis.

He shared that they offer internships and even a guaranteed job after graduation.

“A four-year degree is not always the only path. We have other options for them to make and follow a very robust career in a technical field,” added Willis.

A path Gabriel shared that he is interested in.

“They also help me get half off tools and all that I was interested in asking them about that seeing how their program works,” said Espino.