By Cheryl Schweizer, Columbia Basin Herald
ROYAL CITY — Evelyn Carreto knew the career she plans to pursue back in middle school.
Her mom had a medical emergency, and Evelyn spent some time at the hospital. “I really focused on the nurses,” she said.
Her interest in nursing grew from that experience, she said, and was reinforced with some of the career education at Royal High School.
She looked for opportunities to learn more about nursing while at RHS, she said, and chances for more training. Currently she is working on her associate degree at Big Bend Community College, with the goal of applying to BBCC’s nursing program.
Evelyn received a scholarship from the Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF), and through the foundation worked last summer on an outreach project with Columbia Valley Community Health in Wenatchee.
Her search for opportunities to learn more about nursing led her to Project Hope, a job shadowing program that allowed her to see and follow nurses at work. That and some other experiences confirmed that medicine, and specifically nursing, were careers for her, she said. “Okay, this is what I want to do. I want to be a nurse.”
She also enrolled in the professional medical careers/pre-nursing program at Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center. As part of that program students take the test for certified nurse assistant (CNA) qualification. Evelyn took it, and passed.
“Those things got me a step ahead,” she said. The CNA qualification meant she could get a job to help pay her way through school.