by Bella Hayes
When I was in my junior year of high school, I took my first Career Technical Education Partnership (CTEP) course, Health Careers. I was a little intimidated; at that point, I only dreamed about one day becoming a doctor and never thought of it becoming a reality. The moment that I stepped into DonnaMarie Stahl’s classroom, everything changed. The small feeling of fear and doubt washed away. I began to explore the vast world of medical professions and the importance of each one. By taking Health Careers, I gained the opportunity to volunteer at
Dignity Health Dominican Hospital. Throughout the summer, I was able to expand my knowledge of the medical field by talking to the professionals. Though I wasn’t working in the specialty I want to do; I still had really valuable exposure to hospital work environments. My senior year, I took Medical Technologies. When I took Med-Tech, I was again, intimidated. But, by my instructor’s teachings, I learned the importance of hard work and the dedication it takes to accomplish something I am passionate about. That year I took all of the lessons I learned from Health Careers and Med-Tech and placed them in a portfolio that showcased the work I have accomplished over the year. That portfolio ended up winning the CTEP showcase. It made me realize how much work I had been able to put into my early premed education as a high school student.
Following graduation, I started studying Psychology at Sonoma State University, and the past two summers, I have been able to help different communities around the world. In 2018 I went to Bali, Indonesia, and was able to work with health care professionals and learn what it is like to be a provider in a developing country. This summer, in 2019, I went to Unity, Maine, and worked with children who have low to high functioning Autism. I am now about to begin my second year at Sonoma, where I will be continuing studying Psychology and on the premed track. I know if it wasn’t for CTEP, I would not be where I am on my premed journey. CTEP gave me a foundation that helped me further explore the possibilities of medicine. Now mydreams of becoming a medical doctor have become a goal thanks to the CTEP Health Careers, and Medical Technologies.