A one-of-a-kind medical program at a local high school is changing students' lives. The way this unique opportunity is making a difference is What's Right with Tampa Bay.
Spoto High School has something no other school in the country has: a pharmacy academy. Nicole Kitchen is an instructor at the school.
"Our pharmacy academy is a four-year pharmacy technician training program," she explained.
It's a hands-on program that started last year with 15 9th graders from Hillsborough County schools.
"They go out to two clinical rotations in the hospitals and in the retail pharmacies, and it's the same program that they would get at a career college or community college," Nicole said.
Payge Williams is one of the 45 students who believes the program will really help jump start their careers.
"I think it's been worth it, because we learn what kind of prescriptions, the controls of the prescriptions. We have done baby butt paste , we have crushed up pills we have done a pretty hands on labs," Payge said.
Every 9th grade student in Hillsborough County is eligible for the program, as long as they have a Level 3 in reading and math on the FCAT.
One of the students in the program is Alfred Higgins.
"I kind of want to be a pharmacist, so I'm thinking about after this, going to college to be a pharmacist," he says.
Nicole says it's a well-rounded curriculum that has a big upside for the kids.
"Not only do we focus on pharmacy career skills, they learn how to make a resume, they learn communication skills, what jobs and what employers are really looking for," she explained.
Nicole says if students complete the four-year program and pass the exam, they will get their certification.
"They will also get their pharmacy technician license through the Florida Board of Pharmacy," she said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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