BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park High School students tested their blood pressure and balance, dissected sheep hearts and practiced yoga poses during the Vital Medical Academy’s eighth annual Health Fair on April 3.
The Vital Medical Academy is a career technical education (CTE) pathway at Baldwin Park High School that provides students with the opportunity to gain experience in the medical field through courses such as sports medicine and mental health.
“I am learning a lot of helpful things at this fair, like simple ways to stay healthy,” Baldwin Park High freshman Ivy Voong said. “I want to be a pharmacist and so it’s good to have this exposure to so many other fields.”
Baldwin Park High School’s band played during the event, while students journeyed through a multitude of booths and activities, including strength testing, CPR training and a presentation by emergency medical technicians on what it is like in the ambulance.
Nursing students from Cal State Los Angeles conducted blood pressure tests, and Baldwin Park High school students in the sports medicine pathway wrapped participants’ ankles and wrists.
Baldwin Park senior Albert Mares ran an information booth for the school’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Club.
“I really like this fair because I can provide club outreach and raise awareness on mental health topics,” Mares said. “I want to be a physician assistant and this event helps me see the different options to get there.”
Mental health professionals provided information on working in the field, including steps through higher education. Professionals represented Foothill Family, Hillsides’ family services, Children’s Bureau and Therapy Dogs International.
“These peer-to-peer experiences help students because if you see someone like you in a job position, then you can imagine yourself in the field,” said Nicole Melamed, Vital Medical Academy mental and behavioral health pathway leader and NAMI club adviser. “As the years have gone by, we have needed and developed a stronger mental health presence because there is a big link between being mentally and physically healthy.”
BPHS_HEALTH_FAIR_1: Baldwin Park High School students dissect parts of sheep, including heart, eyeball and brain, during the school’s Vital Medical Academy’s eighth annual Health Fair on April 3.
BPHS_HEALTH_FAIR_2: Baldwin Park High School students in the sports medicine pathway practice bandaging and taping wrists and ankles for classmates during the Vital Medical Academy’s Health Fair.
BPHS_HEALTH_FAIR_3: Baldwin Park High School students explore activities and booths during the Vital Medical Academy’s Health Fair and stop by the Wishing Tree, where they write dreams, prayers and goals on colorful notes and tie them to strings that cover the tree branches.