‘Align Peoria’ gives Manual Academy seniors inside look at medical field career opportunities

Local News

A co-op between a central illinois school and business is helping prep students for professional job opportunities after graduation. 

Advanced Medical Transport in conjunction with Manual Academy is setting students up for success through a program called Align.

Align has been a pilot program for about three years now; this being the first for the paid internship option.

While the idea itself isn’t brand new, this local pairing is. 

Students today say it’s opened their eyes to the world of first responders. 

From taking tests on providing care during pregnancy to soldering batteries, Manual Academy seniors are getting a first hand look at the medical field. 

“It just shows us it’s more than just being out on the streets and in the ambulance.” said Antonshya Bailey, Manual senior. 

“So far it’s been good,” said Breonta Boyce, Manual senior. “We’ve learned a lot.”

The program is working to support lessons area school districts teach. 

“It’s really giving them the choice to be able to look at what they want to do with their future,” said Sid Ruckriegal, Align Peoria Board member. “It’s giving them the mentorship along the way to be able to help as they are going through those questions and searching the answers out for themselves.”

Students in the program said this opportunity is setting them up for a successful future. 

“It’s been very exciting too because you get to do some things you’ve never done before, like ride in the back of an ambulance and go out to the garage to see what they do out there,” said Boyce. “So it’s been very fun.”

“It helps you learn before you get there.,” said Bailey. “It’s like a career readiness class that helps you prepare for the journey you’re going on.”

The pilot program for these seniors runs through May 10, allowing each student to see a variety of fields in the medical community. 

“To have been there when they first were interviewed, they were wonderful students,” said Ruckriegal. “But to see the progress that they have made for the past couple of weeks, I think, really says a lot about the talent that we have within our city as our young people. These are going to be the leaders of our community.”

These eight students  will complete the paid internship with multiple certifications, like CPR and their EMR status, which is just one step below an EMT.

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