GICCA recognizes students passing CNA exam

The Golden Isles College and Career Academy recognized 19 high school juniors and seniors Friday for something very few will accomplish: passing their certified nursing assistant exam even before graduating.

Teachers and parents marked the achievement with a pinning ceremony. Each student was given a special pin to remember their time at GICCA that was affixed to their scrubs by parents, siblings, guardians and friends.

It’s not an easy road they’ve chosen, said Rachel Yeargan, nurse and GICCA’s dental science and sports medicine teacher. It’s a very challenging journey, but she took joy in watching them grow and rise to the occasion.

When others would have given up, they continued, studying not just folders of information but “folders of folders in a gigantic box of folders” to master the skills they’d need to enter the healthcare field.

It took discipline, and “daily discipline stacks up to achievement,” she said.

Sarah Liebelt, one of the teachers and herself a nurse, the classes they had to take gave a unique kind of stress. Those who elect to continue pursuing a career in medicine will find that stress does not go away.

She called on the families and friends in the audience to support their students.

“You are the community and support network that helps them with that stress,” she said.

Health care is a high calling, Liebelt continued. It’s a commitment and a promise, and she felt confident the students in the room were more than capable of making a difference.

“This class can cause a lot of stress and tears,” Liebelt said, choking up. “But I am not sorry for the demands and high expectations you are held to.”

The students who passed the exam and earned their pins are Celeste Aguirre, Tania Acre-Velasquez, Diasaya Cash, Lorelai Clark, Caleb Corley, Korea Emory, Malazia Green, Abigail Harrison, Taleyah Heck, Zy’on Hines, Callie Koch, Yadira Martines-Dejesus, La’jayda Richardson, Brooke Sidoti, Kamaria Smith, Beckett St. Denis, Jamiah Taylor, O’nisha West and Renaiya Wilcox.