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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Medical Assistant program students validate their career calling through March of Dimes Walk

May 17, 2017

SJVC Medical Assistant program students at Modesto March of Dimes WalkIf any medical program students have doubts about the career they have chosen, they are often reassured after participating in an event like the recent March of Dimes walk in Modesto.

“It showed me there are many people in need that I can help with my medical skills,” says Medical Assistant program student, Hanna Foster. “I learned that there are so many (more) people in need than I thought.”

More than 20 students, staff, faculty and their family members joined well over 1,000 other 5k walkers at the Gallo Center for the Arts in downtown Modesto on Saturday, May 6th, for the 7:00 a.m. to noon event held to benefit premature babies.

The Modesto campus’ Health Studies Club members organized a fundraiser in the lead-up to the event. “We set out March of Dimes donations boxes in the classrooms and had T-shirt sales,” says Vanessa Ahio, Medical Assistant program instructor and club adviser. “Whoever could raise the most would get a pizza party.” The club raised $700, well over the $400 raised for last year’s walk.

Many businesses, clubs and organizations set up information, service and refreshment booths for participants and their cheering families and friends. SJVC’s booth was among them and welcomed the opportunity to connect with event participants and supporters. “We also donated water bottles to the 5k walkers at a rest stop,” says Vanessa.

“A family or two will come up and share their stories,” says Vanessa. “It can be very emotional.” It made an impression on students, many of whom have an interest in working in pediatrics when they take their places in the medical field.

“The highlight of the day’s event for me was knowing I helped raise money for babies in need,” says Hanna. “I didn’t know what the true reason of March of Dimes was until I participated in the March of Dimes Walk.” The March of Dimes reports that in one year, 4 million babies benefitted from their research, vaccines, research and breakthroughs.

A few important visitors stopped by the SJVC booth and remembered how they had attended this annual March of Dimes event when they were SJVC students. “We had students who had already graduated and came with the companies they’re with now,” says Vanessa. “They were excited to return and talked about coming with SJVC the year before.”

Volunteerism is a very important part of SJVC’s student culture. The Health Studies Club is already planning their involvement in the 2018 March of Dimes Walk. Next month, students at the Modesto campus will participate in the annual Relay for Life. “Our Health Studies Club also makes donations toward breast cancer (research),” says Vanessa. “Students offer any type of help they can give, especially when they see the statistics about it and see where the money is going.”

All eyes are on next year’s March of Dimes Walk. “My goal right now is to raise $1,000 and for us to be on the (official March of Dimes) T-shirt and the banner for next year’s event,” says Vanessa.

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