This summer, high school students from across the region attended “Mini-Medical School” camps organized by the Wake Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in partnership with Vance-Granville Community College. The camp was held in June at VGCC’s South Campus, located between Butner and Creedmoor, and in July at the college’s Franklin County Campus, just outside Louisburg. Between the two locations, 35 students completed the program.
This was the college’s second summer partnering with Wake AHEC’s Mini-Medical School, which is an intensive, week-long day camp that uses computational science (computer simulation) and hands-on activities to study key aspects of medicine. In 2014, the program was offered only at the South Campus.
Students learned about topics that included anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, cardiology, epidemiology, medical genetics and genomics. The course was taught primarily by Becky Brady, a registered nurse and chemical engineer. Two members of the VGCC faculty also taught one session apiece: Biology instructor Brandy Bowling at South Campus and Bioprocess Technology program head/instructor Dr. Tara Hamilton at Franklin Campus.
Faculty members from VGCC programs that prepare students for health-related careers — including Nursing, Medical Assisting, Radiography, Pharmacy Technology, Human Services Technology, Emergency Medical Services and Occupational Healthcare — gave students information about academic pathways and employment prospects. Students not only had a chance to learn about careers and hone their science skills, but they also became certified in CPR and Youth Mental Health First Aid during the course of the program.
The students who completed the school at South Campus included Matthew Battistel of Granville Central High School; Michael Harris of Granville Early College High School; Gavin Hardin and Rhyan Johnson, both of Granville Magnet High School; Nathaniel Selvidge and Yaziel Sosa-Garcia, both of South Granville High School; Dominique Anderson of Southern Vance High School; Ryan Raulynaitis of Fuquay-Varina High School; Sreekar Mantena of Green Hope High School (Cary); Diego Pacheco of Leesville Road High School (Raleigh); Brandon Baek, Sierra Jones and Jalen Taylor, all of Panther Creek High School (Cary); Niecey Elps, Alexis Jordan, McKayla Perry, Madison Robertson, Niya Watkins and Skylar Wilson, all of Warren County High School; and Leeza Mason of Warren New Tech High School.
Those who completed the program at Franklin Campus included Joshua Bass of Franklinton High School; Juanita Pacheco-Sosa of Louisburg High School; Kyndal Gunter, Jessica Schneider and Justice Shuta, all of South Granville High School; Destiny Harden of Johnston County Early College Academy; Savannah Staten and Kayla Wilmot, both of Enloe High School (Raleigh); Drew McDonald of Sanderson High School (Raleigh); Cierra Mills and Michala Mills, both recent graduates of Ravenscroft School (Raleigh); and Tiara Daniel and Janneth Arrieta Reyes, both of Warren Early College High School. Two home-schooled students were also among the participants: Rachael Basham of Wake Forest, who is also taking VGCC classes through the Career and College Promise program, and Kyle Brady of Fuquay-Varina.
Wake AHEC serves nine counties in central North Carolina from its office in Raleigh: Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Lee, Person, Vance, Wake, and Warren counties. AHECs are located throughout North Carolina and are affiliated with the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Medicine. The mission of the statewide AHEC Program is to meet the state’s health and health workforce needs. NC AHEC provides educational programs and services that bridge academic institutions and communities to improve the health of the people of North Carolina with a focus on underserved populations.