MILBANK, S.D. (KELO) — Hope Karels decided to take her passion for baking to the next level two years ago by starting her own business, HK Cupcakes.

The now sophomore in high school gives a lot of credit for her business to her experience baking with her grandparents and through the new 4-H Mastery Showcase project.

Baking is a lifelong passion for Hope Karels.

“I always remember having my head barely over the countertop at my grandma’s house. We would always make donuts with my grandma and grandpa and I would be the one to roll out the dough and cut out the donuts because I was too young to fry them in oil and that’s mostly how I got started,” said Karels.

Being involved in 4-H has played a significant role in starting her business.

“Through 4-H, I got to learn how to bake because you could bake muffins for 4-H judges and that just kind of started my business and it kind of started me to watching more baking videos and shows on TV, which really began what I really want to do,” said Karels.

4-H launched the Mastery Showcase program this year. It helps members, like Karels explore possible career choices, like starting a business, by creating a presentation about it.

“It’s just an opportunity to show what the progression of what they have learned through 4-H,” said Sara Koepke, Grant County 4-H youth program advisor.

“I got to interview a local person in our town that actually owns a bakery now and a storefront and that got to kind of help me learn about what I should do in the future to be able to own a bakery when I’m older,” said Karels.

But for now, she plans to keep learning and slowly growing her business.

“My favorite part is definitely learning about finances and being able to know if I’m going to be able to own a business when I’m older and how I can personally see my life as a business owner when I’m older,” said Karels.

She has a wide variety ranging from vanilla and chocolate, to seasonal flavors like pumpkin and s’mores.

She sells them at the local farmers market in Millbank during the summer, but it open for custom orders through her social media pages.