The HEAL academy (Health and Environmental Academy of Learning) is not the average high school academy. By giving students opportunities and experiences to work in their community, the academy helps students like me prepare for a career either in health care or in the environmental health field.
I have been in the HEAL academy for all four years of high school. As part of this academy, I have developed leadership skills and knowledge that have helped me in my day-to-day life. HEAL has helped turn us students into young professionals by doing things like making us wear our scrubs when we have an important event. When I wear my scrubs at school and in public, I feel important and motivated to excel at school, so one day I can get the chance to wear scrubs every day for work as an OB nurse.
We have experienced many opportunities throughout the school years to better ourselves and our community, and we have created new memories. We have learned about different professions and have had field trips to colleges to see what each college offers.
In my sophomore year, our academy took a three-day college trip, during which I realized what type of college environment I want to attend. When we visited UC Irvine, I fell in love with the campus as it is surrounded by nature. That trip gave me more motivation to pursue my dream of hopefully going to that college one day.
As we obtained more knowledge about the medical field and medical terminology, we were able to do more hands-on action in our junior year, and we earned our CPR and CERT certifications. This year, as seniors, we participated in the Great Shakeout simulation, where we put our CERT training to use. In addition, we have our own sim lab, where we have various stations that each focus on different types of medical fields, which has helped with our classes.
Overall, being in HEAL has given me ambition to pursue my dream of becoming an OB nurse. With internships coming up, I plan on doing mine at a pregnancy center in Indio as a result of a presentation about what they offer. After high school, I plan on moving away to continue my education.
Being in HEAL has given me a second family to go to, and for that, HEAL is really a big blessing for me.
Kyle Bashore is the CTE teacher and advisor for Cathedral City High School’s HEAL Academy. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 770.0100.