The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a challenge; however, students at the Palm Desert High School Health Academy (PDHA) are trying to make the best of the situation and continue to push forward despite adversity.

mentoring the future

The pandemic has created many obstacles to how the academy typically runs, but despite these unique circumstances, students are finding every opportunity to overcome these obstacles and get the most out of the year. 

One of the opportunities students look forward to every year is volunteering. Many non-profit organizations are beginning to reopen and health academy students are jumping in to lend a hand. They are getting out into the community and making a difference in any way possible including assisting with the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the Heart Association’s Heart and Stroke Walk and activities for seniors at the Joslyn Center.

Another unique program available to PDHA students is SkillsUSA which offers the opportunity to compete in various health-related competitions against other students all over the United States. Competitions include the Health Knowledge Bowl, Career Pathway Showcase, Medical Terminology, Medical Math, and CPR. Students begin at the regional level and if successful, can qualify and advance to both the state and then national competitions. Currently, many students in the PDHA are busy preparing for their respective competitions. 

Among them are sophomores Noor Diab and Olivia Dore, who will be competing in The Career Pathway showcase. In this event, a group of three members pick a research topic to discuss and then create an informational board and presentation. Contestants present to a panel of judges and are scored in a variety of categories. Diab and Dore have decided to present on the impact of concussions in adolescent students. 

Another sophomore currently preparing for a skills competition is Devin Castro. He will be competing in the medical math competition where he will have to answer several health-related math questions. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to compete against other students who have the same passions as me,” Castro said. 

Palm Desert Health Academy students continue to push through and are reaching out for additional opportunities as every step brings great impact to our community. As the pandemic is still ongoing, students learn from these challenges and continue to grow, to become better individuals and to develop skills that will help them succeed in the future.  

For more information on Coachella Valley Health Academies, visit or contact Kim McNulty at [email protected], (760) 413.5990.

Read or write a comment

Comments (0)


Living Wellness with Jenniferbanner your financial health michelle sarnamentoring the futureNaturopathic Family Medicine with Dr. ShannonThe Paradigm Shift in Medicine TodayConventionally Unconventional with Kinder Fayssoux, MD