Health academy students stimulate interests

Tashi Wangchuk


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Evelyn Statford a high school student uses a stethoscope to hear the heartbeat of a life-size robotic patient in HS-107 during Health Services Day on Friday.

By Yesenia Melara, Staff Writer

Students from three different West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) high schools visited the college for the Health Services Day on March 11 from 9:20 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Health Academy students from De Anza High School, Pinole Valley High School and Richmond High School got the opportunity to learn about different health careers and courses of study through presentations and hands-on experience given by professors.

These students got to visit six different presentations, each exhibiting unique ways of getting students interested in health fields.

Biology professor Brian Rowning gave a presentation on biotechnology. He said that many students are not aware of the different kinds of opportunities that biotech experts have available to them in the health field.

“I want students to be as excited as I am. They have open minds so I want to show them the different possibilities that a health field student can have,” Rowning said.

Rowning said that not only does he want students to have an open mind about entering a health field but he also wants to encourage them to apply to Contra Costa College to start their health careers.

“We have students who started their health careers at CCC and then transferred to four-year universities,” he said.

After Rowning was done with his presentation he gave students a chance to use their high-powered microscopes to view microscopic living organisms and do finger printing at a different station.

In another presentation, four high school senior students representing three of the different high schools gave a presentation on the Certified Nursing Assistance program.

They said that the CNA program has a program for 15 Health Academy students in their senior year to complete the CNA certification while still in high school.

Martha Chavez, Pinole Valley High School senior, said she wasn’t interested in health related fields but once she took the CNA program she loved it and therefore encourages health academy students to take advantage of the program.

“It only took me one exposure to find my passion in the health field”, Chavez said.

De Anza High School Health Academy Lead Professor Fatham Riordan said she wants her students to know that there are many possibilities for them in health careers.

“Medicine is so diverse. Experiences like these are one in a million for them,” she said.

“College is important and they (students) should know that they don’t necessarily have to go to a four-year college. You have places like CCC that provide the same demanding trade skills needed in health to be successful,” Riordan said.

Mohammad Mubashir, a De Anza High School student attendee, said he is now considering CCC after high school.

“After all I learned today, I never realized what CCC has to offer. I won’t have to spend much on quality education and I can always transfer,” Mubashir said.