Health Sciences High & Middle College Students Share Their Thoughts on Education

May 30, 2013

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Health Sciences High & Middle College (HSHMC) in San Diego focuses on learning about health and healthcare as part of a world-class education. HSHMC is a home away from home, an open door, a place of rigor and academia where students earn a diploma that matters.

CCSA recently visited HSHMC and met students Deka Aden, Michael Reyes, Daisha Brombach, and Angelo Meza who were excited to share their thoughts on why they chose HSHMC, education reform ideas, what makes a great teacher and their dreams for the future.

Students attend HSHMC for a variety of reasons, these four who are all in 11th grade agree it was the right choice for them.

Deka Aden was interested in one day working in the medical field while Michael Reyes says he is happy he decided to attend "because of the friendly learning environment I come to every day." Everything about HSHMC appealed to Angelo Meza, "I chose to attend HSHMC because I was interested in a future career in health care. I found this school through a friend and instantly fell in love with all it had to offer: internships, rigorous college courses, off campus lunch, and great staff."

HSHMC offered Daisha Brombach "a whole different high school experience. I grew up in a small town and always went to a small school, but I wasn't interested in my home school. But most of the San Diego high schools are very large. So it caught my eye how small HSHMC is. Another large factor in my HSHMC decision was the internship and opportunities it offered students."

HSHMC provides students with the opportunity to obtain real-world experience through internships and students acquire first-hand knowledge of the health care field via this educational component.

Daisha iscurrently interning at Bella Vista Medical Center. "It's a psych unit, meaning most of the patients are psychiatric patients...this falls under the Mental Health category. I have learned a lot from the experience I have had in the mental health program. I've learned how to deal with patients as well mental illnesses and how they come about."

Sharp Memorial Hospital's ER and the OB/GYN department at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center provided Deka a chance to meet many people that had a profound effect on her life during the past two years. "I know there are people out there who are sick and helpless with cancer and it makes me want to help people in the future."
From taking care of patients to helping doctors and nurses with common tasks like restocking, Michael has says his internship has been an amazing experience.

Angelo's many internship opportunities have enhanced his education. "Over the course of the two and a half years I've been here, I have interned in physical therapy, cardiology, and dermatology. I learned what the health care field really entails and how much passion health care providers have for their job. It truly was a great experience. I also gained a great work ethic for any future career I choose. Ultimately, my various internships taught how to work hard and love what I do."

If you were in charge of schools and education reform, what changes would you make?

"If I was in charge of education reform I would definitely make sure schools offered more specialized programs such as the one my school offers. Not only would I add more medical programs, but I would also create internships in other fields such as business or marketing," offered Angelo.

Deka would like students to have more chances to be successful. "If I could change one thing, it is to let student be able to retake or redo their work. At HSHMC we have as one of our pillars: Never Late to Learn. I understand that there are many students out there who have family or personal problems. If schools were able to allow students to retake tests or redo work, we would see many more successful stories of students finishing high school."

Providing students with a more diverse education landscape tops Michael's list. "I would make sure that students had classes that not only taught them everything they already need to learn but also gave them the opportunity to build their own skills with art, music or sports. I think those are the most important in a student's education."

Daisha would love for every child to have access to a quality education, "if I were in charge of schools and education reform I would ensure small class sizes," said Daisha. "All states would have the same state standards and no child or teenager would have poor access to an amazing education because of where they come from or their inability to pay for a proper education."

What do you think makes a teacher a good teacher?

According to Deka, a teacher is one you can count on when you need them, you can trust him or her and be able to talk one on one. Michael says a teacher should possess a good personality, needs patience and understanding for students, as well as flexibility. "In my mind, a good teacher is someone who can connect on a personal level with their students. They can keep their students entertained and engaged in the lesson. I also believe 'hands on work' is an important thing to incorporate in lessons," stressed Daisha.

Angelo echoes Daisha's sentiments, "a good teacher is one that connects with a student. When teachers connect with their students it creates a comfortable learning environment that makes a student want to learn. Also, when a teacher presents the content they will be teaching in a memorable manner, it makes a student remember it. Patience is also very important, a lot of patience actually."

What are your future dreams and goals?

Deka would like to work in the medical field after attending college. Angelo has his sights set on attending New York University and majoring in marketing and finance with the ultimate goal of becoming a marketing director for a large company based in either New York, New York or Los Angeles, California.

Both Daisha and Michael and would like to join the military. "My future dream is to join the National Guard for a couple of years and then go into the firefighter service," says Michael. Daisha also credits HSHMC with helping her discover her dreams. "My future goals in life are to go to college and get a least my masters in marine biology. I would like to be in the military, I want to be a pilot in the Air Force. So the health field is something I am not initially interested in anymore, but it is a good thing to understand and a good fall back plan. My school has ultimately helped me understand what I want in my future instead of going into something I personally wouldn't like in the long run."

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