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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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High school students experience careers in health at NMSU

Thirty-four students from across southern New Mexico are preparing for college and learning about careers in the health profession during a rigorous six week program at New Mexico State University.

lth Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Summer Enrichment Program allows students to experience college by taking health career and student skills related courses for partial high school credit, visiting the University of New Mexico Medical School and career shadowing in several locations in the Las Cruces area.

"This program not only gives participants an idea of the various health career choices they have," said Cristobal Rodriguez, director of the program. "It provides a sense of being better prepared for the rigors of college along with a sense of empowerment of their cultural identity."

Students will have the opportunity to visit Memorial Medical Center, Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico, the Division III of Public Health and La Clinica de Familia to learn about the careers available and work with professionals in each location. Rodriguez said the program's ultimate goal is to assist students in becoming highly trained health professionals so that they may one day serve their rural communities.

The students will also choose a research topic relevant to their own communities to research and present at an awards ceremony on Saturday, July 23.

HCOP is designed to help students pursue an education in health careers and prepare them for the rigor of college and to become a part of a diverse and culturally competent health workforce.

Students from Alamo Navajo Reservation, Gadsden, Hatch, Lordsburg, Magdalena, Mescalero Apache Reservation, Santa Teresa, Truth or Consequences and Tularosa are participating in the program.