“I decided at a young age I wanted to help people. When I was eleven years old, I witnessed something that was not great, I stood there and I was frozen. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to help and I never wanted to feel like that again. I didn’t have enough information to be able to help them. So, I started to research more about the career options available to help others as a first responder or in a medical crisis.
I’m a planner, I already know where I’m going to be in the future. I’m going to UCF for two years to get my bachelor’s in health science and after that, I’m probably going to go to med school, hopefully, while in the Navy. After that, I’m going to do four years in the Navy, knock out my residency, and then hopefully I’ll end up in North Carolina as a doctor.
I have two older sisters who attended classes through High School Dual Enrollment (HSDE). I knew I wanted to follow their lead and get a certificate or A.A. by the time I graduated. When I started at Gainesville High School (GHS), I joined the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) club. The class elective taken with HOSA teaches health and science principles and in the last year of high school, you choose something you want to do, a clinical, like EMT, nursing, physical therapy, and other similar programs. I chose the EMT program at Santa Fe College because I want to be a trauma doctor and I discovered through SF I could get my EMT certification at the same time I graduated high school.
I’m so thankful to Santa Fe College for this opportunity. I base my entire plan on the experience I’ve had here. And if SF didn’t have this program, this stepping stone, I would not be where I am today, on my way to that next step in the plan. I would not have my inspiration. I don’t know where I would be. This is such a great opportunity and if you live in Gainesville, this is where you want to go for your last two years of high school. This is where you want to go for the experience.
Despite being a planner, I think the one piece of advice I would have liked when I was younger was, don’t stress yourself out, life isn’t just a straight line. I tried to make it a straight line. It didn’t work. I don’t like going outside of my plan, but I understand that if I do that’s fine too. If something happens then I’ll rework my plan. I’ll try again. You’re gonna do it, you’re gonna do it. Just find your way, find your path and follow it. “
Macayla Barnett, Santa Fe College High School Dual Enrollment EMT student graduating class Spring ’22