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OTC Health Careers Summer Camp Is Success - Fun & Educational

Twenty-nine middle grade students participated in the inaugural OTC Health Careers Summer Camp June 18-21, 2012, at Okefenokee Technical College in Waycross. According to Dr. Abraham Pallas, OTC dean for academic affairs, the event’s success prompted allied health instructors and officials to make the camp an annual event.

“Benefits to participants were numerous,” stated Pallas. “Not only did they learn about health career options, campers were given the opportunity to speak with health career professionals, tour the local hospital, and meet other students with similar interests.”

Candidates for the program had to be in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade at the time of application and were admitted to the program using a competitive selection process.
 
The camp was free of charge due to a generous contribution by Magnolia Coastlands Area Health Education Center. Other contributors included Henry Schein, who donated stethoscopes, and Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Waycross.

“The purpose of the camp,” stated Lori Henderson, camp coordinator and OTC nursing instructor, “was to inform students of and encourage them to consider health career opportunities. We want them to begin thinking about their career now and make smart choices that enable them to take the most practical route to get there.”
Okefenokee Technical College partnered with Magnolia Coastlands Area Health Education Center and Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross to make the program possible. Student campers spent one of the four days at Mayo Clinic, where they toured the hospital and learned about careers available there. A representative from Magnolia Coastlands addressed campers the first day and shared how the center could help students determine the health career most suitable for them.

The camp offered a variety of hands-on activities led by over 19 health care professionals. “It is our hope,” stated Danita Cannon, vice president for academic and student affairs, “that the Health Careers Summer Camp was a summer memory that made a lasting impression.”

The following allied health programs are offered at OTC: Medical Assisting, Clinical Laboratory Technology, Paramedic Technology, Practical Nursing and Related Programs, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy Technology, and Surgical Technology. See the OTC Web site for all program listings: www.okefenokeetech.edu.

Health Careers Camp

Photo:
Students from six area middle schools came together to form the 1st graduating class of the OTC Health Career Summer Camp. Present for the opening day photo were (Back, L to R) Nathan Taylor (Ware), Marina Johnson (Bacon), Maggie Denison (Pierce), Tessa Henderson (Pierce), Caitlyn Kenney (Pierce), Aliyah Benefield (Waycross), Brett Mullis (Ware), T. J. Ponsell (Pierce), Joshua Riggs (Ware), (Third Row, L to R) Lauren Herrin (Pierce), Katy Williams (Pierce), Jamie Grady (Pierce), LeighAnne Payne (Pierce), Savanna Coleman (Southside Christian), Ally Arnold (Waycross), Chelsea Milkas Ware), Tyannah Wells (Waycross), Talliyah Miller Ware), (2nd Row, L to R) Lana Taylor (Waycross), Ivy Joyner (Pierce), Kristyn Morris (Bacon), Carolyn Lesseig (Pierce), Madeline Nettles (Bethune), Michaelyn Tapley (Waycross), (Front, L to R) Carson Bennett (Pierce), Abby Grimes (Waycross), Caitlyn Johnson (Pierce), Taylor Perryman (Bacon), and Taylor McPhaul (Ware).

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