Trimble Tech High School senior Nicole Estrada, 17, performs CPR on a mannequin Sept. 7 at a medical training hosted by the Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at TCU. Estrada is a part of her high school’s patient care technician program. She plans to go to medical school and pursue a job in health care. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Nicole Estrada, 17, signed up for Trimble Tech High School’s patient care technician program because she always knew she wanted to work in the medical field. 

Despite her family’s warnings about how difficult the journey would be, she continues to pursue a health care career.

“They told me that it’s going to be a lot of work. Nothing’s going to ever come easy to me. But, if I’m really determined, then everything is going to glide smoothly, as long as I put an effort in,” Estrada said.

Estrada and more than 250 more high school students — over 100 from Trimble Tech alone — participated Sept. 7 in Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at TCU’s hands-on medical training workshops where students used virtual reality headsets, mannequins and real patients to learn from medical experts.

“It helped me grow my desire in wanting to be in the health care system,” Estrada said.

Korie Hawkins, the assistant director of service learning at the Burnett School of Medicine, said the workshop is part of a larger effort to provide opportunities in the medical field for all students who have an interest in training.

The goal is access, she said.

“Helping them to understand that they can also attain these opportunities. The bigger goal is to eventually allow them to be able to embark on the process of applying to medical schools and what that looks and feels like. They’ll be in the community,” Hawkins said.

Valeria Escobedo, 17, is a part of the emergency medical technician program at Trimble Tech High School. She plans to pursue her education as a technician and used the medical school’s workshop as a stepping stone toward her goals.

Trimble Tech High School students use virtual reality technology to see body organs on Sept. 7. The headset allows students to virtually practice hands-on medical procedures on the anatomically correct human organs they “see” right in front of them. (Courtesy | Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at TCU)
Trimble Tech High School student Valeria Escobedo, right, listens to a Burnett School of Medicine at TCU faculty member during a hands-on ultrasound training. Escobedo, 17, who would be the first in her family to attend, is a part of her high school’s emergency medical technician program, in preparation for a career she plans to pursue after college. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
A Burnett School of Medicine at TCU trainer helps Cristo Rey High School students learn about sutures Sept. 7. The training hosted five different high schools, mostly within Fort Worth ISD, and over 250 students. Korie Hawkins, the assistant director of service learning at the college, said this is an opportunity to expose students to the medical field in a more hands-on, professional way — something they otherwise would not receive. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

The Burnett School of Medicine at TCU will open behind Trimble Tech High School, and Hawkins sees room for partnership with the high school’s medical programs, she said.

“It is very important to me to make sure that the students know that they can do anything they want to do, whether that’s going to medical school, (or) whether it be a nursing student,” Hawkins said. “We are going to be that beacon of light that shows them they don’t just have to stop at the medical system. They can continue to go on and attain all these different goals.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...