Life after Health Leadership High School
By Carolyn Baca, former Health Leadership High School student | December 7, 2017
“They taught us how to give presentations, how to properly present ourselves during interviews, and time management. All of which are traits that are needed in college and the work force. ”
Health Leadership High School (HLHS) is a health based high school that focuses on hands on learning and preparing students for the health industry. I knew from a small age that I wanted to be a doctor. I found out about HLHS my sophomore year of high school. I told my mother about it and she reluctantly agreed to let me try it out. What appealed to me the most was the hands on learning and the opportunity for dual credit classes. This school took the general classes taught in public school and turned them into projects that help students focus on medicine and learn math, history, reading, writing, and a lot of science.
Every class is taught as a project. A teacher chooses a topic and the students research and develop presentations and projects to learn and be able to present and teach the material to community partners and average citizens in the community. I remember one class on preventable diseases; we learned how to check vital signs and what are healthy ways to prevent diseases such as heart attacks, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. As our presentation, we made posters and models and presented our information to real doctors. As our project finale, we hosted a health screening in our parking lot for free. We invited members of the community and were able to educate them in healthy eating habits and good ways to prevent these diseases.
This school has taught all their students how to be leaders and how to work in groups. They also taught us how to give presentations, how to properly present ourselves during interviews, and time management. All of which are traits that are needed in college and the work force.
I was surprised to hear about controversy in the press. Due to their focus in the health industry, they don’t teach students how to pass the many standardized tests required by the state. This school focuses on giving a head-start in medicine and making connections, not filling in bubbles for material that we won’t need in our workforce or our major. Without this school, I would not have received my full ride scholarship to Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. I would not have the experience of working in a clinic and gaining experience to help me get into medical school easier. I would not have been able to take the Nursing Assistant course in CNM. I would still be a number and I would be struggling to pay for my next semester in UNM or CNM. I doubt that I would feel prepared for college without Health Leadership. I feel comfortable and secure in Blackburn. I feel prepared for most, if not all my classes and HLHS helped me to achieve that security. I want this school to continue giving the opportunity to the minority adolescents in achieving their dream jobs and goals like they helped me in mine.