Tuesday night was a big night for local students who are taking the first steps in figuring out what they want to do when they receive their high school diploma.

In fact, hundreds of students and their parents attended a college and career expo at Veterans Memorial High School.

Among the sea of students, we found Rene Fernandez, a junior at Carroll High School who is already planning out to his future.

"It gives me a head start and if I want to change my mind, I still have time to change ahead of time, " said Fernandez.

He hopes to attend Texas A&M-Kingsville and is considering enrolling in the university's engineering program.

Both Rene and his sister will be the first in their family to attend college.

A proud moment to look forward to, both for Rene and his parents.

His father said, "more than anything I want him to see there is more to life. the opportunity is there. It's just a matter of working hard, and through hard work, you can achieve anything you want."

CCISD hosted the expo with over 50 college and universities represented throughout the state and beyond.

Chief academic officer for CCISD, Jim Rosebrock said the expo helps get the students excited about their future.

He said, "the college application process, they begin to get accepted in October and so then financial aid needs to come in before that."

Students also got to learn about the application process for financial aid.

Close to 3000 students were expected to attend the showcase.