Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Jemon Haskins
Lynchburg,VA-The job market is challenging and rocky for high school graduates. But, now some students are learning one of the fastest growing professions in the country. Lynchburg City Schools is rolling out a new nursing program for high-schoolers next year.
Students in the program will finish high school with a certification as a nursing aide. This is just another way the school system hopes to give students a competitive edge.
For a lot of teenagers it's all about pop culture, parties, and proms. Now some students will add profession into the hustle and bustle of high school life.
"I will be like my mom and helping elderly people in homes and stuff like that," said Laquasha McPaul, a sophomore at Heritage High School.
Laquasha McPaul and Desaray Garland are two of 20 area high-schoolers who will start studying to be a nursing aide in high school.
"I'll have more experience than others and I'll know what to do more than other people," said Desaray Garland, a sophomore at Heritage High School.
The students will learn what it takes to be a nursing aide, and the many job opportunities the certification awards.
"They helped the patients with their care, they help them take care of themselves, they do their daily tasks for them, take them to and from physical therapy or occupational therapy things like that," said Susan Cash, a Career Counselor for Lynchburg City Schools.
And it won't just be about the books in this program. A classroom at Heritage High School will be turned into a health care area where students can get hands-on experience in the nursing field.
"We'll have medical equipment; we should have beds there so they can learn to work with patients, transfers things like that," said Cash.
During the first year students will take their nursing classes at Heritage High. In year two, they will go out into the health care world, and intern in the nursing field getting a taste of the profession before they graduate.
"It gives our students a chance to make decisions that are going to be helpful to them sooner than later," said Ed Dellinger, Supervisor of Instruction for Career & Technical Education for Lynchburg City Schools.
The school system is partnering with Generations Solutions on this program. When the students finish the program they will be able to work in nursing homes, home help or hospitals.