Students teach, learn at health fair

November 19, 2013

Australia Toribio, left, talks to HCC students at a Health Fair at the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center.HCC student explains HCC's Veterinary Technician program to students at HCC's Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center in Holyoke.

Students in Health 101 learn a lot about careers in health care. After all, the course is called Introduction to Health Careers and is a core requirement for students in the Foundation of Health program.

Monday, those students got a chance to talk about what they've learned at a health careers fair held at the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center in downtown Holyoke.

PAFEC, as it is known for short, is home to HCC's Adult Learning Center, on the fourth floor, and the Gill Technology Center, on the first. HCC students participated in the health careers fair as a Service Learning project. Their audience for the day included students enrolled in PAFEC programs, such as GED classes and English as a Second Language classes, as well as students from the Care Center in Holyoke, an education program for teenage mothers.

"This is a very useful fair," said Elora Pindell, a college counselor from the Care Center. "Many of our girls talk about how they would like to have careers in health care."

The HCC students spent several weeks conducting research and preparing posters about health-related programs at Holyoke Community College and examining how those programs can lead to different careers in the health care field.

"I think this will help them think about what they really want to do," said Yoadelis Sanchez, a Foundations of Health student from Holyoke, who ultimately plans to pursue a career as a nurse.

Sanchez prepared a poster about HCC's Health and Fitness programs with her partner Karen Suarez, who is also from Holyoke.

The HCC students handed out information about the HCC programs and discussed prerequisites of their programs, course load and other requirements.

"I think this will give them a good start," Sanchez said.

Health 101 instructor Sue Jones said the fair was also instructional for her students because it exposed them to people from different cultural backgrounds.

In health care, Jones said, "We respect cultural diversity and we see people from all walks of life, but we treat everyone the same."

Photos: (Left) Australia Toribio, standing, collects information at a health careers fair held at the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center in Holyoke (Right and thumbnail) HCC students explain health career programs at the fair.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040