The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently connected with 11th grade students at Dauphin County Technical School, who provided insight into how career and technical education has impacted them. Read Faith Steward’s perspective:
I always wanted to go to Dauphin County Technical School ever since I found out it existed. In middle school, all I reached for was to get into DCTS and have an early start in success. I knew it would be an amazing opportunity for me, so as soon as applications came I went straight for it. Close to the end of high school, I’m really glad that I chose and got accepted to go to this school. Knowing that I can make something of myself at such an early age is just astonishing, I believe it’s a great option to have. DCTS was a great fit for me because it put me ahead of all my other peers at my home school. They’ll have to go to a secondary school after graduation to learn what I’m doing right at this second; I’m in my junior year of high school and I’m learning college level material. I can still go to college or any secondary schooling of my choice, but while in school, I can work in my career setting while I’m getting my college degree. I’m getting the chance to start early in my career and a head start in what I really want to do in life.
There were a lot of programs I could’ve chosen, and believe me, it was a hard decision to make, but I’m in the Nursing Foundations program. This program is bedside care, mainly in a hospital setting. I’ve learned how hard it actually is and how much dedication people in the medical field put into helping civilians. We are learning basic healthcare skills like vital signs to more advanced skills like giving someone else an EKG (electrocardiogram) which measures the electrical signals in the heart and shows if the heart is beating at a normal rate. Being placed with a group of people that have the same interest as me helped me to learn teamwork and communication skills. We all have bumps in the road, but we know we’re there for each other and we all push our peers to be just as victorious.
The opportunities we have in DCTS is just mind-blowing; the different programs mold and shape us into the people we need to be. All technical shops have events and programs that give us the necessary experience to know what we’re doing in the real world after graduation. In Nursing Foundations, we have a program called the NA program which gives us the training and experience to be a Nursing Assistant after high school. We’ll be getting our diploma plus our NA certificates to go straight into working. In our senior year, we’ll be doing our clinicals, where we actually go to a retirement home and show off the skills we learned on actual people.
DCTS has different clubs’ people can participate in, we have a lot of diversity in my school and we’re fortunate for that. I’m in GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), and it’s my safe people personally, it’s where I can mostly be myself. Being with a group of people who are like me and knowing it is safe to be ourselves is liberating. In that room, I won’t be judged for liking who I want to like or being who I want to be—it’s just incredible. This has been my home for the three years that I’ve been here, it’s where I can be who I really want to be and where I have people to push me to be successful.
After I walk across that stage next year, I’m going to any college that I can fortunately get into. I know what I want to do thanks to Dauphin County Technical School. I’m going into psychology and going to be a therapist. I’m going to help people with mental disorders and maybe even help people find their purpose just like I’ve found mine at Dauphin County Technical School.