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GradStory: Healthcare field beckons graduating senior

Dominguez High School senior Stephanie Valenzuela pursuing a career on the front lines in healthcare COMPTON — Whether Manuel Dominguez High School’s Stephanie Valenzuela ultimately ends up in the future serving as a healthcare professional in

Dominguez High School senior Stephanie Valenzuela pursuing a career on the front lines in healthcare

COMPTON — Whether Manuel Dominguez High School’s Stephanie Valenzuela ultimately ends up in the future serving as a healthcare professional in Compton or in a triage unit in a foreign land, the high school senior is determined to do it as a registered nurse.

Valenzuela is just a few weeks away from receiving her diploma and certificate of competition from her Dominguez’s Certified Nursing Aid (CNA) program, where she has already gained important job skills necessary to work in the health care field.

“I like being able to help people who can’t help themselves,” she said. “For me, it’s not about the money. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives. That’s what makes me happy.”

Valenzuela will be the first in her family to attend college. She will fulfill that dream when she enrolls at Cerritos College this fall to study nursing and health care before joining the National Guard.

“I know that in the National Guard I can get real-world experience and apply it to what I learn in college,” she said. “I want to be fully prepared for the challenges that come with being a nurse.”

Valenzuela said achieving her college and career goals is a source of pride and an example for her five younger siblings.

“I live with my mom and younger brothers and sisters. I’m inspired by my mom who works for a pharmacy. She works so hard. She wanted to finish school but couldn’t,” she said. “I’m trying to set a higher standard. I want to show my siblings how getting an education leads to good jobs and a better life.

“Without education you can’t go far. It allows you to expand your mind and open doors to so many opportunities,” Valenzuela said. “I can’t wait to get out there and help people. It’s what I was born to do.”

 

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