Ninth-grade students in the academy received white coats from their student pharmacy mentors in 10th and 11th grade. Tenth-grade students received white coats with their name embroidered on them, while 11th-graders were given scrubs. The students were also given their high school transcripts so that they can track their progress on the path to graduation.
“This feels like an accomplishment, because I’m passing all my classes,” said ninth-grader Shahzaie Ali after receiving his white coat. “I really like our pharmacy program, because I’m going to be able to get college credit.”
HISD started the Futures Academy almost three years ago through a partnership with Houston Community College that allows students to receive college credit, career training, and industry credentials, thereby providing them with options for a promising future after high school.
This semester, more than 60 10th-graders in the Futures Academy at Jane Long will begin their first college-level course in health science. The program offers students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree at no cost to them while still in high school, as well as pharmacy field experience, job shadowing, and mentoring from professionals with companies such as Walgreens.
“Whether you choose to go to college or stay in pharmacy technology, this program will give you the springboard to do it,” said HISD Board Trustee Michael Lunceford.