By Josh Beavers
Three Minden High students have earned a distinguished honor thanks to their hard work over the summer.
Kaylin Williams, Chedrayvia Gray and Allena Simmons have earned their Certified Nursing Assistant certification through Southern University in Shreveport following Jump Start summer.
“We are so proud of what these young ladies were able to accomplish,” Minden Principal Dr. Rebecca Wilson said. “They worked hard during the summer as part of the Jump Start Initiative and took advantage of this opportunity.”
Jump Start empowers school districts, colleges, and businesses to collaborate in providing career courses and workplace experiences to high school students. Jump Start prepares students to continue their education after high school while certifying them for the career fields most likely to lead to high-wage jobs.
Seventeen students participated in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training.
“We had a huge success and maxed out our numbers,” Dr. Beverly Smith, the district’s Jump Start coordinator, told The Journal. “This is the first time we’ve had a full schedule all summer.”
A certified nursing assistant is an important position in any hospital setting. CNAs have many responsibilities that make them an integral part of the patient process in healthcare. Being a CNA can help prepare a person for nursing or healthcare management.
A certified nursing assistant helps patients with direct health care needs, often under the supervision of a nurse. CNAs work directly with patients and nurses, helping with the many physical and complex tasks for patient care.
In addition to credit in their specific pathways, all students received a stipend. “They all put forth a good effort and attendance was wonderful,” Smith said. “This is especially encouraging coming off Covid.”
At the completion of the program, students earn high school Carnegie credit, dual enrollment credit from SUSLA, a stipend, and an opportunity to test for their CNA certification.
“This was another great opportunity for the students of Webster Parish,” Smith said in a Facebook post with enrollees. “Proud of you, young ladies, for doing a great job! Smiles, smiles, and more smiles!”
Students earned clinical experience at Meadowview Health and Rehab Center in Minden.
Louisiana’s Jump Start is the new paradigm for career and technical education (CTE), requiring students to attain an industry-based credential in order to graduate high school. It is the state’s new program for school districts, colleges, and businesses to collaborate in providing career courses and workplace experiences to high school students. Students have the opportunity in high school to earn industry-valued, industry-promulgated credentials in the career fields most likely to lead to high-wage jobs, while preparing them to continue their post-secondary education in 2-year and 4-year colleges and career development.