“As a healthcare professional myself, I feel very proud of these students,” said Fabiola Armendariz, HPA coordinator and instructor. “I see what they aspire to be, and it makes me hopeful for the future because once we retire and move on, we know that healthcare will be left in good hands.” | Photo courtesy SISD
The Socorro Independent School District Health Professions Academy inducted 100 freshmen students into the program for the 2020-2021 school year.
The 29th annual event, held in Late November, honors students who were selected for the HPA four-year program based at Socorro High School and marks the start of their journey as future healthcare providers.
Students were presented their white coats and stethoscopes by their parents who helped them put them on for the first time.
“As a healthcare professional myself, I feel very proud of these students,” said Fabiola Armendariz, HPA coordinator and instructor. “I see what they aspire to be, and it makes me hopeful for the future because once we retire and move on, we know that healthcare will be left in good hands.”
The Health Professions Academy is a four-year program that is part of SISD’s advanced academics courses, giving students the skills, training and knowledge to pursue careers as healthcare providers.
“This is a great opportunity for everyone going into the medical field,” said Yanel Estrada, a freshman and HPA student at Socorro High School. “I am really grateful because not everybody gets this opportunity and the fact that they picked me makes me feel that much more special.”
The concept of being presented with the medical coats and stethoscopes serves as a visual symbol of healthcare professions. They serve as a representation of their transition from book learning to lab work, to clinicals, and finally, a certification.
“I’m really glad we got to put this together for them,” said Diego Delgado, senior at Socorro High School and HPA president. “This is a ceremony that students can’t miss out on. It’s very important for the academy in general, and I hope they appreciated it as much as we did.”
As part of the program, students will do clinical rotations at The Hospitals at Providence, University Medical Center, Del Sol/Las Palmas Medical Center, Adobe Animal Hospital, Immunize El Paso, Centro San Vicente, Oasis Nursing Home, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.
“Despite the challenges everyone has faced this year, I think this group of students will feel extra special,” Armendariz said. “Even with the pandemic, they are still willing to pursue a career in the medical field at such a young age.”