Student gains hands-on sports medicine experience

Page, a senior at Brunswick High School, is pursing this semester a work-based learning experience in sports medicine, after she completed the sports medicine pathway at the Golden Isles College and Career Academy. In the pathway, students learn about the principles of sports injury prevention, injury care, first aid/CPR training, nutrition and more.

Page works three days a week with Chantal Pierre, a certified athletic trainer at Brunswick High employed by the Southeast Georgia Health System.

Page said work-based learning has already provided her with numerous opportunities, including a chance to meet professionals, gain more insight into her future goals and earn class credit.

“One of my main concerns going to college was actually that I’d be paying thousands of dollars to get a degree that I won’t like, and I no longer have that fear looming over my head,” she said.

Working with Pierre is a chance to learn more than she could expect to in a classroom setting, Page said, and to understand what the job is really like.

“She shows you the good, bad, boring, fun, and she trains you for success,” Page said. “She gives you a lot of wiggle room to make your own decisions, but is also very present to guide you along the way. What I like most about WBL is that technically it’s a class, but it’s allowed me to do more and have more fun than another class I’ve been in.”

Glynn County Schools’ work-based learning program aims to offer high school students hands-on training and work experience while they earn high school elective credits. The program is serving around 100 students this year and focuses on developing an individualized experience for each participant.

Glynn County Schools’ work-based learning coordinators, Robyn Rhodes and Susan Faulk, celebrated CTAE Month in February by visiting classrooms to share these opportunities with students and by highlighting students like Page, who plans to attend Georgia College and State University and major in sports medicine.

“Teresha is a true asset to the WBL program,” Rhodes said. “Her educational achievements are great, but her work ethic and team work with peers stand out above all. Teresha goes the extra mile in all that she does, and she is always up for a challenge. She is a natural leader, someone who is not only diligent and enthusiastic but someone who can multi-task with ease.”

Rachel Yeargan, the sports medicine instructor at GICCA, reiterated that Page works hard and is determined and focused in her work.

“What I enjoyed most about Teresha being in my class is how she leads her peers with kindness to be better at any task they are undertaking, whether it is taking vital signs or health histories, cleaning gym floors and windows or studying and preparing for exams,” Yeargan said. “She encourages them to be their best, by being her best.”

Hands-on experience in the field of sports medicine is critical for those interested in that kind of career, Pierre said, in part because of the field’s competitive education programs and wide required knowledge base.

Pierre said she benefits from the support Page offers but also aims to give her a variety of real-world experiences.

“We work together a lot,” Pierre said. “I tell her, anything you want to learn, speak up, because these are different things that are important but you might want to learn about something else. She’ll ask me questions — What’s this? What’s this? Show me an evaluation for the knee?”

Page also works on weekends at The Club Health & Fitness Center on St. Simons. In that role as well, Page said she’s able to gain hands-on experience that will be valuable after she graduates high school this May.

“The best part is that you just get to do some much that you don’t in class,” she said. “You learn a lot about work ethic, a lot about professionalism. Even though they might expose it to you in the classroom, it’s not to the degree of work-based learning.”

Employers interested in partnering with the work-based learning program are encouraged to call Rhodes or Faulk at 912-280-4000, ext. 4315 or ext. 4111.