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Class acts

Children of the Earth students look forward to careers in health care

kids and bikes
The 2015 Medical Careers Exploration Program class includes (from left): Raven Traverse, Aidan Pedlar, Raven Favel, Lisa Harper, Ocean White, Natasha hill-Head, Bree Castel, Stephen Sward, Shanae Harper.

BY SUSIE STRACHAN
Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, Summer 2015

This year marks the largest graduating class of Children of the Earth students since the inception of the Medical Careers Exploration Program.

Seven students - Bree Castel, Raven Favel, Natasha Hill-Head, Lisa Harper, Aidan Pedlar, Stephen Sward and Ocean White - had hands-on experience in clinical settings at Health Sciences Centre, the Grace Hospital and the Pan Am Clinic, with a view to helping them pursue further studies in health care. Two more in the class, Shanae Harper and Raven Traverse, will complete their high school courses this fall.

Launched in 2007 by the Winnipeg Health Region and the Winnipeg School Division, the program provides Aboriginal students from Children of the Earth with invaluable experience in the many options available to them, if they choose to follow a health-care career path. One of the program's goals is to address the fact that only three per cent of health-care workers in Winnipeg are Aboriginal.

Students in the program take the same core subjects as other Children of the Earth students, plus the Medical Careers Exploration course, which is designed to support the clinical internships. It includes material about the body's systems, anatomy, physiology, and customer service. The students also learn traditional Aboriginal ways of healing and medicine, and work on information communication technologies to enhance their computer skills. Students in the program receive $1,000 toward post-secondary education from Bright Futures for each year of high school they complete.

Previous MCEP students have gone on to further their studies or are working in a health-care field. According to MCEP teacher Stacie Onofriechuk, Colten Pratt (2013) graduated as a paramedic, Dillon Courchene (2012) is studying science at University of Manitoba, Amy Bousquet (2013) is in second-year nursing studies, Leanne Hartley (2013) is studying science, Darian Anderson (2012) is studying social work, and Lorelei Everett (2011) is studying nursing at University of Manitoba.

Photographer Marianne Helm and writer Susie Strachan recently spent two days at the Grace Hospital with this year's graduating class.

Wave: March / April 2015

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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