HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email
HUDSON, Texas (KTRE) - Selena Stephenson is 17 years old, and on track to be a licensed vocational nurse by the time she's 18.
"It means a lot to me that I get to leave high school already knowing what I want to do and how I'm going to achieve it," Stephenson said.
She's one of nine students in a pilot nursing program at Hudson ISD.
The Memorial Health Science Center is the first of its kind on a public campus in the state.
"You're really very humbled by this opportunity to offer such a great program for our students," Hudson Superintendent Mary Ann Whiteker said.
Whiteker says has been wanting to provide something more to her students.
Memorial Health System of East Texas CEO Bryant Krenek says his goal was to start planting seeds early when it came to health careers.
Angelina College provided the instructors and a partnership was born.
Now, high schoolers are being trained to solve a health care shortage.
"To finish their senior year and graduate, and sit for LVN boards is unprecedented," Krenek said. "It happens nowhere in the state of Texas and we're not sure if anywhere else in the United States is there a program like this."
Students in the program have to undergo a rigorous application process that actually begins their freshman year.
"It means that I got to work really hard and I have to prove that I deserve this opportunity," student Colbert Sheerd said.
For Whiteker, it means her students will graduate and be able to support themselves.
"The most rewarding thing in the world to an educator is to actually see the benefits of programs that you have provided for them and that is compounded by the excitement that you see on their faces," Whiteker said.
"It means a lot," student Amanda Swan said. "Some people will never know how much we appreciate this."