SAN BENITO — Dressed in scrubs, Alejandra Ayala, a high school senior, looked for a vein and grabbed a needle while saying each step she did out loud.
She was in the process of inserting an IV into a training mannequin’s arm.
Around Alejandra were 11 incoming freshmen who are interested in pursing a medical career and hope to become nurses, doctors and surgeons.
San Benito CISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program launched its first summer camp this past week for middle school students and incoming freshmen.
Students are able to complete one of 11 course programs during the camp, which include law, medical, welding, business, small animal, audio/visual production, photography, cosmetology, auto collision, construction trades and drafting/engineering.
Through the three-week camp, students will receive hands-on experience and project-based learning.
Career and Technical Education Director Rolando Guerra said the program aims to help students gain experience with different pathways the school district offers to help them decide which career they would like to pursue.
“When students transition from eighth to ninth grade, they have to decide which career pathway they want to follow and which classes they want to take,” he explained. “So, this camp gives them a taste of what the CTE program offers and what certifications they can receive through our programs.”
San Benito High School Principal Maria Isabel Marichalar-Solis described the CTE program’s summer camp as an “enrichment camp.”
“The camp helps generate student interest in the career pathways of their choice,” she said. “We want to ensure our students start a pathway and finish the career sequence in order to be college or career ready.”
Veteran students helping incoming freshmen
Through San Benito High School’s CTE Program, Alejandra has become a certified nursing aide and will graduate with four medical certifications.
From leading team building exercises and teaching students how to do stitchery on a banana, Alejandra will be gaining volunteer experience through the camp
“It’s a really great experience to be able to teach the incoming freshmen,” she said. “I get to show them what I’ve learned in the past few years from the basics such as CPR to teaching them how to properly feed patients.”
Alejandra hopes the students gain confidence in their work.
“This is a great opportunity for them to learn about the medical field beforehand so they’re ready to receive their nursing aide certification later on when they’re juniors,” she explained.
Bertha Cabaza Middle School eighth grade student Imanol Meca chose to attend the CTE welding program this summer.
He decided to attend the program because he hopes to become an auto mechanic like his dad.
Through the summer camp, he’s learned a variety of different welding techniques such as how to remove a dent from a car with a stud welder.
“I’ve really enjoyed the camp so far and think it’s really exciting to learn about this career,” he said. “When I was little, I always watched my dad work with cars and wanted to learn all about it.”
Audio/visual production course
Esai Martinez will be in eighth grade next school year.
He chose to attend the audio/visual production course this summer and will learn about the fundamentals of film and TV production.
This past week, he learned how to create background music from scratch on a computer.
“I thought this was going to be a little harder to learn especially for the younger ones, but they really enjoyed it,” said audio/visual production teacher Isabel De La Garza. “I’ve had the same eight kids come every day and none of them have been absent, so that’s always a good sign.”
Esai explained the inspiration behind the “action-based” song he put together.
“I wanted to make a song match the video I plan to put it with so I did a lot of planning before I started,” he said. “I listened to a lot of different beats and chose ones that were fast and sounded electronic.”
Esai said he had never worked with audio/visual software before attending the summer camp and is excited to create more songs.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
• San Benito CISD Career and Technical Education program is hosting its first summer camp.
• A total of 93 middle school students registered for the camp.
• The goal is to help students gain experience with different pathways the school district offers to help them decide which career they would like to pursue.
CTE Summer Camp programs
• Construction trades
• Small animal
• Audio/visual production
• Auto Collision