“We had 25 seniors who completed the CNA course,” said Cassandra Shelton, health science instructor at Lincoln High. “They will take their state board tests this summer, and when they pass they will receive their CNA license.”
Shelton said Lincoln High has offered the CNA course for many years, but this was the first year to hold the Pinning Ceremony to recognize the students for their accomplishments and honor them.
“Juniors and seniors can take the CNA course, but the Pinning Ceremony is only for seniors,” she said. “We hope to make this an annual event.”
Shelton said the students performed clinical hours at Rainbow Omega Inc.
“I want to thank you all for coming to Rainbow Omega,” said Sherry Butler, medical services director for Rainbow Omega and guest speaker at the Pinning Ceremony. “The residents love you and would like to see you any time.”
Butler said Rainbow Omega has 88 residents with varying types of disabilities, including learning and physical disabilities.
“Nursing is about the heart and caring for people,” she said. “You are the eyes and ears for nurses. Don’t stop with your CNA but keep going and continue with your education in the medical field.”
Leia Brown said she interned with Dr. David Hillman at Lincoln Veterinary Clinic.
“Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to become a veterinarian,” she said. “Those experiences confirmed what I always knew — that I should become a vet so I can help animals in need.”
Brown said Hillman allowed her to observe many procedures and assist with tasks.
“I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge during my time with Dr. Hillman and his staff,” she said. “They have taught me more than I could have imagined and this experience will prove to be a great benefit once I start vet school. I am very grateful to Dr. Hillman and Ms. Shelton for providing this opportunity to me.”
Heather Proctor said she performed her clinicals at a dental office in Talladega.
“I would go and observe one of the dental hygienists who worked there,” she said. “I learned a lot from her. She would show me how everything works and taught me things to help me prepare for my future. This experience helped me to see that the career I have chosen is the right choice for me. Now I can go into college knowing what to expect and I also have a head start on the simple things.”
Krystal Calhoun said all her life has been dedicated to helping others.
“I strive to give my time to be a positive influence in people’s lives,” she said. “Volunteering at Rainbow Omega was a life-changing experience. I learned that no matter what life throws at you, you have to keep striving for you goals. The residents taught me that valuable lesson of life. I not only learned how to care for people, I learned that we have to be thankful and embrace life. I will always have a special place in my heart for residents at Rainbow Omega. This experience is a doorway to our medical careers we plan to pursue and dreams we want to come true.”
Demecia Howard said her experience in the health care course began in 10th grade.
“I started to learn what the nursing field is all about,” she said. “It made me dream of working in the medical field one day. My dream is to become a nurse practitioner. With the help of health care classes, I have more hands-on experience in the medical field.”
Howard said at the start of her junior year, she learned she could receive a CNA license, and worked at Rainbow Omega the fall of her senior year.
“While attending Rainbow Omega, I received my CNA hours to further my steps in taking my boards to become a licensed CNA,” she said. “A CNA is the eyes and ears for a registered nurse. A CNA can work in hospitals, nursing homes or any medical-related job. A CNA can later attend college to further their education in becoming a registered nurse. I want to thank Lincoln High School for letting students be involved in career tech programs like the nursing class and a special thanks to Ms. Shelton for showing students the way of becoming a CNA one day.”
The 25 seniors who completed the CNA course include Rayah Baldwin, Leia Brown, Krystal Calhoun, Jasmine Carver, Brandy Decker, Adrianna Enchauntugi, Angel Crowe, Dalshala Carmichael, Melissa Bushey, Destanie Bradford, Mallory Grace, Tiffany Harris, Brittany Oden, Molly Perry, Heather Proctor, Justin Pate, Melanie Mendez, Demecia Howard, Angel Hardie, Autumn Smith, Hydea Swain, Garrett Sullivan, Skyler Seals, Jaida Lane and Jasmine Russell.
“Our school district’s vision is to prepare students for the 21st century,” Lincoln High principal Terry Roller said. “What better way to prepare students than grassroots hands-on working with people in the medical field? The CNA is an entry level qualification for the medical field. I hope the students will take this introduction to the medical field and go forward and pursue greater endeavors. This is a wonderful opportunity for them. They can make money while being a student.”
Shelton said some students have received jobs through the CNA program.
“I am extremely proud of all of them,” she said. “They worked very hard.”
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.