Sarah is no stranger to broken bones. She shattered the growth plates in both her ankles on two different occasions, broke her nose and several fingers. She also has a keen interest in photography. So when she had the opportunity to job shadow an X-ray technician at the end of her junior year in high school, she jumped at the chance.
“It was the perfect blend of my interests in healthcare and photography,” Sarah says. “They had me sign a confidentiality agreement and then set me up on the computer so that I could look through all these X-rays of various bones and parts of the body. It was amazing.”
Sarah spent fourteen hours at Samaritan hospital that day. “I got to see what happened in the ER with trauma cases, see a CAT scan and watch an ultrasound done on an expectant mother. I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Today, Sarah is a Certified Nursing Assistant from Columbia Basin Job Corps’ nursing program and is enrolled in college classes at BBCC through Job Corps’ Advanced Career Training (ACT) program. Gaining admittance to the ACT program was no easy process. “It’s a point-based system, and they only have a certain number of spots,” she says. “We earned points for things like leadership, discipline and test scores.” Students had to complete an admissions packet for Big Bend and pass the placement test to qualify for English 95/98 and Math 90.
Sarah had spent lots of time volunteering during her time at Job Corps and serving in the dorms, but she was still nervous. “It was really tense when she called us in for the announcement,” Sarah remembers. “When I found out I made it, I was jumping up and down.”
Sarah carried that enthusiasm over to the ACT program at the college and plans to continue her education and eventually work in a clinic or hospital radiology department. “I can’t believe that in ten months at Job Corps I have my GED, became a CNA and now Job Corps is paying for my college education.”