Thirteen West Brunswick High School seniors received their white coat with their name on it, a medallion, honors cord and certificate on Tuesday night, May 9, for completing Project Lead the Way program.
The program, led by Sheila Gerald, gave students the opportunity to learn and practice skills used in the medical field throughout their high school years. Last week’s ceremony allowed their friends and family to celebrate their long-awaited accomplishment.
“What makes it so special for me is that I’ve had them all four years,” Gerald said. “See, I’ve had them since they were a freshman, so I get to watch them grow and mature and learn and grow and change — they’re just remarkable individuals.”
Of the participating students graduating the program, some of them said they entered the program wanting to do something in the medical field. A few even said they had no clue what they wanted to do so they entered the program, which helped them figure it out.
“I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field, so I figured it was the best thing to do — to take the medical classes that were offered,” senior Jewelie Gore.
Some students, like Gore, followed the path that their siblings took, and found themselves under Gerald’s wing.
Senior Conner Evans said he did the program to get a start in the medical field. Before even graduating high school, he has passed his state Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) Test.
Asked about their biggest takeaways from the program, students said leadership skills, teamwork, public speaking skills and medical skillsets.
Asked about what completing the program means to them, some of the seniors said it captured their entire four years on paper.
“To me, it’s achievement, completion — [it] symbolizes the last four years of our lives,” senior Logan Franklin said.
“We’ve been working for this for the past four years, since freshman year,” senior Zoey Boswell added.
Franklin and Boswell said the course helped them figure out what they wanted to do in their future. They said the course was not entirely easy and had its challenges, like the gel electrophoresis test.
Some of the students said the group was a family to them with Gerald as the mother figure.
“She’s not Ms. Gerald, she’s Mama G,” Gore said.
Students spoke highly of Gerald and said she was an amazing individual and that they were lucky to have her as a mentor.
Gerald said the same about her students.
Savanna Tenenoff is the staff writer at the Brunswick Beacon. Feel free to reach out with comments, questions and tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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