NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin and Groveton high school students began a three-day health careers camp Tuesday in Nacogdoches.
The experience could benefit you in the not-so-distant future. Your future doctor, nurse or health care provider could be in high school right now learning CPR or learning about the "hot" jobs linked to the STEM initiative.
"I'm all about promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics," said Dr. Kimberly Childs, the dean of Stephen F. Austin State University's College of Sciences and Mathematics.
The Texas Area Health Education Center East sponsors health career camps throughout the year. They want to guide teens to careers which can serve East Texans in the very near future.
"This opportunity to work with local providers in the communities that they are from helps them understand the needs of our public health community here and gets them interested in the advantages of health care in a rural setting," said Debra Kiesel, the director of AHEC East.
Childs, the dean of SFA's College of Sciences and Mathematics wants to get the students in on the ground floor.
"We don't ever graduate STEM majors that they don't go out and get a job immediately or have one before they ever graduate," Childs said.
Exclamations of "wow" and "cool" could be heard across the classroom when she unveiled an image of the university's future STEM building.
"It's like whoa!" said Braylah Horace, a Groveton High School student.
The $46 million STEM building is scheduled to open in 2018, about the time these students are graduating. It's currently a top recruiting tool.
"I was thinking about other colleges, but now I think maybe I think I just might want SFA to be one of my applications," Horace said. "Might want to come here."
AHEC East serves 111 counties in the region.
The goal is to train the next generation of health professionals in their communities.
Students will shadow health care professionals at a health clinic and a hospital Wednesday. On Thursday, health campers will assist in creating information displays about public health topics.