NPHS P-Tech students gather together before their CCRI graduation. Top row: Nicolas Camacho, Alanis Garcia, Denzel Allotey, Farah Awad. Bottom row: Yassin Joof, Jalen Tomlinson, Zoe Sekasula, Christian Hazard, Julianna Rodrigues.
NORTH PROVIDENCE – Nine students at North Providence High School have graduated from Community College of Rhode Island with an associate degree.
As of May 18, Denzel Allotey, Farah Awad, Nicolas Camacho, Alanis Garcia, Christian Hazard, Yassin Joof, Julianna Rodrigues, Zoe Sekasula and Jalen Tomlinson are now alumni of NPHS’s P-Tech Health Science Career and Technical Education program.
The NPHS P-Tech health science curriculum combines high school and college classes with hands-on workplace experiences to give students an opportunity to earn an associate degree that is free of cost.
This pathway also gives students the chance to become a certified emergency medical technician, or EMT, and or a certified nursing assistant, CNA.
“It’s fun to say we graduated CCRI before we even go to prom,” said Camacho, who joined P-Tech to kickstart his career in biomedical engineering. “I knew I wanted to do that, so I figured, why not get started early, get some experience in the field and get a degree for free,” he said.
For Rodrigues, P-Tech allowed her to see the different sides of the health science industry, and helped her to realize she’d like to study pharmacy in college.
All students are allowed to join P-Tech, not just those who intend on pursuing a career in the health care field.
“I want to do something more related to humanities,” said Sekasula, “but I enrolled in P-Tech because I thought it’d be a great opportunity, and it was. I learned so much about how to care for others and made so many amazing connections, and I’m so grateful for that.”
Melissa Caffrey, the local director of pathways, said she is extremely proud of these students.
“It is such an accomplishment,” she told The Breeze. “High school is tough enough, but they went above and beyond. They’ve been in school non-stop. They chose to not take summers off, and to take classes, and work hard, and it all paid off because now they have a college degree while they’re still in high school.”
Tomlinson agreed with Caffrey, saying the curriculum required “lots of hard work and dedication,” but is entirely possible if you believe in yourself and go to NPHS’s “amazing supports” when necessary.
“Just ask for help, it won’t make you look weak. That’s what the program and the teachers are for, they’re here to help you,” said Allotey, who plans on becoming a surgeon.
Hazard encourages any student who is thinking about enrolling in P-Tech to do so.
“Not only is it really fun, but you’re learning practical skills that you can actually use throughout your entire life,” he said.
Good for them. There may be hope for RI after all
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