08:29 AM

Allow Yourself to Breathe

Student of the Week: Julia Alaniz

"You have to overcome the challenges and stay on top of your healthy mindset while still allowing yourself to breathe occasionally.” 

STC Student of the Week Julia Alaniz

Julia Alaniz has always wanted to help people in the community. Passionate and driven, Julia says it is this mindset that has enabled her to strive, with the hopes of one day entering the field of pediatrics.

Now through the Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy (DEMSA) at South Texas College, Julia says she is learning to make a difference and understand how to impact her future patients.

Taking inspiration from family members who are working professionals in the medical field, two of her aunts are respiratory therapists and another is a surgeon, Julia says the current pandemic has really shed some light on the important work going on behind the scenes. 

“COVID has really opened my eyes to understand how important those in the medical field really are,” she said. “They sacrifice so much for the people that are in need and I hold a lot of respect for them. That's what I want to do someday because it allows them to help people but also know where they're coming from and help them in need.”

DEMSA is a two-year dual enrollment program created for high school juniors and seniors who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in health care.

The Academy is designed to encourage area high school students into the health care professions by providing college coursework and health related opportunities to motivate, educate, and prepare them for higher education in the field of medicine.

Julia says she was first introduced to DEMSA as a sophomore at Nikki Rowe High School and then entered the program as a junior. She now looks ahead to graduating this May with an associate degree in Biology and looks ahead to eventually receiving a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with the hopes of one day becoming a Physician’s Assistant, preferably in the field of pediatrics, she said.   

“You have to be very focused on a career path. That’s the mindset you must have. You really have to be determined and know what you want to be when you're older,” Julia said. “I did have toOver sacrifice being an athlete on the side while still participating in national honor society and clubs that allowed me to be involved in the community. You have to overcome the challenges and stay on top of your healthy mindset while still allowing yourself to breathe occasionally.”