August 8, 2017; Silver City, NM: When a teenager says, “I want to be a doctor”, how seriously do you take their statement? FORWARD NM not only takes them seriously, the program is designed to make teenagers’, and college students’, dreams of a career in health care come true.
To make those career dreams a reality, FORWARD NM offers summer academies for high school and college students to brush up on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) so they can excel on entrance exams, whether it be to college or medical school.
Over 40 high school and college students graduated from the summer academies offered in Silver City and Deming. This year the academies’ graduated their largest classes to date.
At the summer academies students brush up on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) so they can excel on entrance exams, whether it be to college or medical school. Participants come from as far as Ft. Sumner, NM, and El Paso, TX, to attend the summer academies.
The high school students participated the five-week Health Careers Academies (HCA) offered in Silver City and Deming. College students studied for the medical (MCAT+), dental (DAT), and, offered for the first time, pharmacy (PCAT) admissions tests. Earlier in June, the week-long Summer Math and Science Healthcare (SMASH) Academy for high school freshmen wrapped up.
FORWARD NM Director Miriam Kellerman, said the summer academies are, “part of a five-step pipeline to prepare rural youth to enter careers in health care including the Dream Makers program, summer academies, health care resident rotations and the support of medical residents.”
Silver High Sophomore Marcos Martinez is on that five step-path having completed Dream Makers, SMASH, and this year HCA. He said, “HCA was more intense than the previous programs. We took the ACT [American College Testing] five times, and I feel better prepared for the taking the real test now.” Martinez plans to be a lab technician, and hopes his summer preparations will enable him to attend New Mexico State University.
University of New Mexico Senior, Michelle Thomas attended the summer academies to strengthen her scores on the entrance exam for medical school, MCAT+. She says the academy was “a grueling experience, but so beneficial as everyone was receptive and open to help. It was nice to have so many professors come and teach their specialty to us.” A Las Cruces native, Thomas traveled to attend the classes in hopes of one day becoming an obstetrician and gynecologist.
The FORWARD NM’s summer academies were sponsored in part by the Freeport McMoRan Foundation. The community also pitched in with over 40 various businesses, restaurants, organizations and individuals donating their time to support the students’ successful completion of the academies.
The Silver City HCA graduates included: Ashleigh Armijo, Ayliana Cardena, Jordan Chavez, Haley Lambert, Anyssa Maese, Marcos Martinez, Mustafa Muhyl, Pryank Patel, Serina Turrieta, Nathaniel Woodruff, Brianna Ybarra and Tiffany Ynostroza.
The Deming HCA graduates included: Anthony Almanza, Isabel Almanza, Ahmad Alsheikh, Annadalay Barraza, Arina Fierro, Johnny Gonzales, Betsy Maciel, Alexis Mejia, Celeste Miranda, Kylie Nicoll, Viviana Nicoll, Alicia Pena, Breanna Richmond, Shannah Rudiger, Martiana Sanchez, Misty Saiz, Italia White, Jazmin White and Calliope Whitty.
The MCAT/DAT/PCAT graduates included: Blanca Itzel Ali, Abbigail Cardenas, Uriel Delgado, Ramon Valles Gamez, Ahmed Muhyi, Melissa Lopez Rincon, Jocely Rowse, Brice Erich Sitz, Michelle Thomas, Brenda Vasquez and Lindsey Wollfodl.