high school students from the Mescalero Apache School lived in
dorms and ate in the cafeteria at New Mexico State University
in Las Cruces, attending a summer enrichment program on health
careers this summer.
of the students were members of the Health Careers Opportunity Program
at the school and had attended a two-day conference in Farmington
in May. The summer enrichment session was six weeks, from June 1
through July 11.
Kanseah, a senior considering a career in pediatrics, said the students
were required to turn in an application and an essay saying why
they wanted to go and how they would benefit. She said the main
purpose was to get college experience.
Martinez said he wanted to learn how to get into college and how
to become an epidemiologist. The activity that had the biggest impact
on him was the job shadowing they did on Fridays. He shadowed two
gave us new opportunities to learn how professionals at and to see
what their jobs were," Martinez said. He added that it's a
good experience for people who want to learn to get into college.
De la Cruz, who is considering a career as a pediatrician, said
the highlight for him was meeting new people. He shadowed an emergency
medical technician and a social worker.
the Mescalero school, 28 other students came from Alamo-Navajo,
Tularosa, Lordsburg, Hot Springs, Santa Teresa, Magdalena, Gadsden
and Hatch Valley schools. They took pre- and post-tests and participated
in enrichment activities in biology, chemistry, computers, medical
terminology, environmental ecology, English, math and study skills.
In addition, they went on field trips to White Sands, Carlsbad,
Old Mesilla, Dripping Spring, and to a play in El Paso, "Viva
students received a stipend for attending and graduating from the
program, said Donna McFadden, mother of Donnell McFadden, a sophomore
who wants to be a veterinarian.
said the teachers were trying to get them to college level, and
the students were used to high school.
of them got on your nerves," De la Cruz, said.
received special trophies and certificates for their participation:
Kanseah for "Happy Go Lucky," McFadden for "Most
Mysterious," Martinez for "Longest Short Story,"
Shaleen Evans for "Most Helpful," and De la Cruz for "Cleanest
Room." Martinez also received the computer award for most-improved
student, and McFaden received English and medical terminology awards
for his grade level.
Health Careers Opportunity Program is a new addition to the many
health-related programs at the Southern Area Health Education Center
at NMSU, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration
at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of
the program is to create a diverse health work force that is prepared
to meet the needs of underserved communities.