NORTHCREEK-Three Johnsburg Central School juniors have been accepted into the New Visions Health Careers Exploration program at Glens Falls Hospital. They are Meghan Sponable, Sierra Galusha and Emily Liebelt.
"It's an academically rigorous program," Nancy Wiley, of New Visions, said. "It's designed for college-bound seniors who plan to major in some sort of health field."
Students from 31 districts in Warren, Washington and Northern Saratoga County vie for spots in the program, according to Jane Kokoletsos, the guidance counselor at Johnsburg Central School.
This year, Wiley said, 43 students applied, of whom only 20 were accepted.
Kokoletsos said the students from Johnsburg Central School were outstanding.
"These are girls who always want a challenge," Kokoletsos said. "They want to stand out. They want colleges to look at them as advancing. They will succeed because these students are go-getters."
"They impressed us with their interview skills and their academic transcripts," she said.
Wiley said three days a week students would go on clinical rotations, on which they shadow area healthcare professionals. This can mean the students spend time in the emergency room, the operating room, the laboratory, or inside an ambulance. Over the course of the year, students would visit 60 different sites, Wiley said.
When not on clinical rotations, they're in the classroom with Wiley, taking classes such as Anatomy and Physiology, Honors English, Social Studies, Ethics, Health Careers Exploration, and SUNY BIO 109.
Monday through Friday, student's time in the New Visions program lasts from 8 to 11:30 a.m., at which point they return to their school for the other classes they need, Wiley said.
Galusha said it felt very good to be accepted into the program.
"I've always felt that the medical field is one that you can help anybody with, no matter what you do," Galusha said. "No matter what field of medicine you're in, you're always helping somebody."
Liebelt, similarly, said she felt good to be accepted. She said she was interested in eventually pursuing rural medicine in other countries.
"It feels really exciting because this is the first chance we're really going to have to be working in a hospital,"Liebelt said. "It's going to be a big change of setting and situations to be dealing with."
Sponable said she was looking forward to overcoming the difficulties the program brings with it.
"I'm really excited for the challenge of New Visions," Sponable said. "Not many people get to see surgeries or live births. I really like that you get to help people and that it's a challenge. You have to think outside the box and try to interpret things in different ways."
Kokoletsos and Wiley said this was the first time, to their knowledge, any Johnsburg Central students have applied to the New Visions program. Wiley concurred.
Participation in the programs provides a leg-up in the admissions process of many higher education institutions, Kokoletsos said.
"Some colleges look at this as being a very challenging program for students interested in all aspects of the medical field," she said.
Wiley said New Visions students sometimes are actively recruited by colleges.
"It definitely gives them a leg-up with learning how to organize, (and) study skills," Wiley said. "They're able to understand how high school is different from college with regard to academic workload, because New Visions is a stepping stone."
Kokoletsos struck a similar note.
"It's for your students who have advanced academically," Kokoletsos said. "I wouldn't recommend this for a student who does not take academics seriously. This is for the student who is mature, academically motivated and self-directed."