Academic Excellence: Bridge to Healthcare Careers at Merritt College

Healthcare Careers Program allows vulnerable
students the opportunity for education and work-based
learning experiences. TODD PICKENS: We
take notes, and we do studying on
Tuesdays and Thursdays, but Fridays, we can step in the
lab, put our hands on something to really know what we’re doing. GLORIA MAPP-PARKER: My
favorite was last Friday. We saw cadavers. They showed us the difference
between a regular lung and a COPD lung. ROBBIE KUNKEL: They’re
experiencing the continuum of work-based learning, career
awareness, career exploration, career preparation,
and career training. They’re getting a well-rounded
education in this one semester. CACHAEL SMITH: I’ve
learned vital signs, how to check blood
pressure, heart rate temperatures, and respiratory. CRISTINA RIVERA: Those
are what’s normally done in a hospital setting
so we’re just kind of getting in and getting ready for it. LILIANA CORTEZ: We see
under the microscope, and we learn about how to take
that DNA from a strawberry. ROBBIE KUNKEL: Many have
had negative experiences with education. DILLON ZEDD: Coming to school
every day for this program is a lot of pressure. Not a lot of people out here
that wants to do stuff my age. So if I can do it,
that means it’s going to give other young people
courage to do it themselves. All the teachers and
professors, everything, has been really reliable. They get me involved, they
don’t leave me hanging. DR. RUHINA NAJEM:
These students come in from variety of background,
very nervous, very tense. By third week, they
come willingly, smile, talk to each other. They explain how they
changed their lives. By talk about nutrition, they
go and eat something better. They come and brag about it. They tell me in the
morning, this is what I ate. I didn’t eat bacon. They tell their kids not
to eat certain things. That makes them think, I
want to do medical assistance so I can help somebody. I can have a future. That increases your confidence. PEDRO FUENTES: I’m
trying to pursue the career in EMT paramedic. There’s a lot of
opportunity out there so I’m looking forward to it. LAREAR HANKINS: It’s changed
my career intentions. My mom had cancer,
and I wanted to know why did she have cancer. She’s better now so
that’s a good thing. ROBBIE KUNKEL:
Work-based learning allows students to
develop and to use critical-thinking
skills, become familiar with the use of
technology, ready to enroll in a healthcare career
pathway of their choice at the end of this program. TODD PICKENS: It’s
something that can never be taken from
us, that we’ll always have. Right now in the
medical field, there’s a need for people like us. LAREAR HANKINS: I want to go
higher than where I’m going. After EMT, I would want to
go into being a doctor, maybe a neurosurgeon. TODD PICKENS: I’ve been in
several Bridge programs that have to do with the
route to colleges, and this is one of the ones that
really has me the most excited. I just want to say thank you
to each and every person that’s funding these type of
programs, that’s allowing us to have this opportunity. ROBBIE KUNKEL: When I see
them smile, that makes my day. LAREAR HANKINS: We’re
a tight knit family at [INAUDIBLE] place. SPEAKER 1: Like your future
at the Peralta Colleges.

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