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Health Related Occupations Program Celebrate Juniors During Year-end Ceremony

Last week, juniors from Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES’ Health Related Occupations (HRO) program were celebrated during a year-end award ceremony, which saw 21 students receive certificates of completion at the end of this, their first year. The curriculum required the students to complete 110 clinical hours, and also tasked them with mastering 40 different lab skills. Beyond these clinical requirements, the HRO experience dove much more deeply into the nuts and bolts of the profession than many might realize.

“One of the greatest assets that students get out of our program is the learning how to be a professional health care worker,” said HRO Instructor Robin McKay. “They learn the language, dress and conduct of someone in this profession. They learn how to speak to residents about personal topics and keep that information confidential, and they gain the confidence that they can act in a situation to help someone in need. “

More than just learning the tools of trade, however, HRO students also formed friendships throughout the year. A slideshow presentation held during the event showed many candid photos of the students learning and bonding through shared experiences, despite many of them coming from different high schools throughout the BOCES component districts.

“We have had many laughs and inside jokes that will never be forgotten,” said Port Byron junior Mackenzie Morgenthaler, speaking of the time shared with her classmates. “Everyone in the class has helped me throughout the year.”

McKay was unsurprised by the group’s camaraderie. “They spend two-and-a-half hours a day together for two years, so it’s natural that they feel a bond,” said McKay. “They often refer to themselves as ‘BOCES Fam,’ and the word ‘family’ is often used in class to describe the group.”

On top of receiving their certificates of completion, each student also received a pin emblazoned with phrase: “one person can make a difference.” Beyond learning the ins and outs of the profession and celebrating the friendships made, the HRO students and staff have a clear focus on the endgame of their pursuits.

“The greatest thing that our students take away from our program is that they - as one person, just by being present to another human being - can make an impact in their life. That is huge for our students,” said McKay.

Auburn junior Amani Dawley echoed this sentiment in her speech to the audience. “The role of a nurse is much more than giving medications and stitching up a cut,” said Dawley. “Being able to go out and help people who are sick is what makes my goal of becoming a nurse much stronger. Helping people who are helpless gives me such a warm feeling in my heart.”

Congratulations go out to all the juniors from the HRO program!

HRO students on podium





Brian K. Hartwell, Ed.D.
District Superintendent of Schools

1879 West Genesee Street Rd.
Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 253-0361

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