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 Khloe Sinclair’s perspective:
To quote almost any cliché thing written by or about teenagers, “What better place to start than the beginning.” I can’t recall ever hearing about Dauphin County Technical School (DCTS) before my older brother applied and got accepted. I thought DCTS was like a fairytale. I mean, getting certified to work in your dream job as soon as you graduate high school, why didn’t more people talk about this? Throughout my life, I have had many different ideas as to what I wanted to be. Singer, actor, and superstar were common fantasies for little girls, and I was one of them. Though, I also wanted to be a soldier, a firefighter, a cop, and, of course, a superhero. Don’t forget comic book creator, artist, and writer. Through all of these hobbies, passions, and ideas, there were only a couple of things that really stuck.
I have always adored animals—from dogs and cats, to sloths and orcas, to golden bamboo lemurs and anteaters. Naturally, when I got accepted into DCTS, even though I was interested in other programs of study, I knew that the Veterinary Assisting Program was where I wanted to be. Although most people get the program of study that they wanted, there are those who do not. Fortunately for me, I was one of the lucky ones. Regardless of that, my plans for the future aren’t exactly what you would expect. Among other certifications, once I graduate, I will be a PVMA (Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association) certified Veterinary Assistant. I hope to get a job in a veterinary practice, then possibly continue on to college to obtain an English B.A in Creative Writing, to then be an author and/or English teacher.
As a person who wants to pursue a very artistic and creative career, the Veterinary Assistant program not only equipped me for a stable living while I chase after those passions, but it helped me to perform well in a more serious, high-energy, and professional work environment as well. In terms of medical knowledge, I have learned basic wound care and bandaging, how to use and handle needles/syringes, how to properly restrain animals, grooming techniques, animal behavior, body language, and anatomy, as well as client interactions. We are taught how to write in a medical record, how to set up appointments, how to don and doff certain personal protective equipment, and how to properly clean and sanitize work areas. In this awesome program, I have even had the opportunity to run certain bloodwork and fecal examinations such as a blood smear and fecal float. It’s not all about the learning experience, though. It’s comforting to know that the people who are in the program with you freshman year, are the same people you will be with until you graduate. I am fortunate enough to enjoy the company and interactions with my fellow Vet Assisting juniors.
Another thing I love about technical schools is that you meet and befriend people from all over the area, people you may never have met otherwise. You get exposure to all different people, points of view, opinions, and experiences, both similar to yours and completely contrary. Dauphin County Technical School has shown me that school is not just busywork and grades, but it is hands-on, up close, and personal education. A lot of my teachers, especially this year, have helped me to see that high school is the real world. It is not just reading this and calculating that just to never use it again outside these walls. It is the foundation of your future and that future starts now.