CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A pinning ceremony held Thursday evening recognized dozens of Flour Bluff High School junior and seniors for completing one or more certifications through Del Mar College.
Students received honors for completing programs in disciplines like Electrocardiography (EKG), Phlebotomy, “Patient Care Technician” and “Basic Medical Assistant.”
Leonard Rivera, the Dean of Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs, was the guest speaker. He said he knows what the students went through wasn’t easy.
“These young men and women that have garnered these very difficult, rigorous healthcare credentials here in Flour Bluff are going to have opportunity galore once they graduate and walk the stage here from their high school years and transition into their post-secondary adult years,” Rivera said. “To see 51 young men and women graduate with their certifications in their respective fields of study and healthcare, it’s just remarkable — it’s really remarkable because the program has grown here at Flour Bluff and it’s grown by leaps and bounds.”
Rivera left with a message of praise for the students who are willing to help others.
“They will be able to intervene in their lives, their patients’ lives and really help them move forward with their care and enable those folks and their families, more importantly to deal with the issue at hand,” he said.
Swachi Patel, a senior at Flour Bluff, is one of the 51 students. She said she has already committed to a college and that Flour Bluff has helped her continue her dream of becoming a physician.
“With the health science program we have at the school, I’m able to actually get my feet wet into the health science program,” she said. “Whenever I continue to the University of Rochester next year and do research in the medical center, I’m going to become more focused and more — have a stronger connection with the physicians over there, and have a deeper connection and actually understand more of the medical aspect.”
Patel, who once used to hate going to the doctor when she was a child, but eventually had a change of heart.
“My pediatrician was super fun — he would play with me — run around the room with me, until I was ready for my vaccines, And always give me a lollipop and sticker afterwards,” she said. “With my personality and how everyone just loves when I’m around… I think I can do that to a lot of other children and make their experience in the hospitals a lot better.”
Rivera hopes the program can continue to grow.
“Earning one in-demand national credential for a healthcare-related job is an achievement, but earning four credentials simultaneously is nothing short of an awesome feat of determination and steadfastness,” he said in a news release. “As partners, Flour Bluff ISD and Del Mar have set up a state-of-the-art healthcare program that allows students to earn national credentials in four different areas and prepare for careers in an industry looking for well-prepared professionals.”
The release further adds that the courses are taught by Del Mar College faculty using the latest healthcare technology at the high school.
“These students underwent extensive theory and clinical skills training in one or more of the four programs offered by the college,” the release stated. “Coursework is designed to prepare participants for National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) examinations for their certification upon program completion.”
Velma Soliz-Garcia, Flour Bluff ISD Superintendent of Schools, stated the district is “incredibly proud” of the Hornets who will graduate in May from Flour Bluff High School with career-ready skills.
“Our continued partnership with Del Mar College ensures we develop life-long learners who are equipped with the necessary skills to compete and thrive in the healthcare industry,” Soliz-Garcia said.