13:48 PM

Molding a passionate caregiver

Student of the Week: Jacqueline Fernandez

Jacqueline Fernandez hasn’t graduated high school yet but she has already put her foot in the door of her future career thanks to South Texas College.

The Roma High School senior knows that college courses are key to her future.

“The dual enrollment program offers great opportunities,” Fernandez said. “It was able to instill in me a sense of responsibility at such a young age. Since STC was the campus nearby us, it was the best option.”

When she started high school she learned about the medical field from a personal perspective.“Unfortunately my mother suffered from breast cancer. Starting my freshman year, my whole high school career kind of revolved around that,” Fernandez said. “I would spend a lot of time at hospitals, pharmacies, dealing with medicine. I was just very exposed to the whole medical field and I was triggered. Once you go through that pain your family is going through, you want to help contribute.”

Fernandez is a part of STC’s Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy Program (DEMSA). The program connected her with Starr County Memorial Hospital where she is able to learn and intern alongside healthcare professionals.

DEMSA is a two year-round dual enrollment program developed for high school juniors and seniors of the Starr County, Pecan and Mid-Valley Campus area who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in health care. The purpose of the program is to increase the number of rural area students committed to careers and service in Medicine, Pharmacy Dentistry, Nursing, Allied Health, and others.

“DEMSA keeps us interested in the medical field. As we were exposed to the internship, it gave us an insight on what health care careers are like,” She said. “It showed us more since we take classes that involve labs, the program exposes us to all that.”


“DEMSA keeps us interested in the medical field. As we were exposed to the internship, it gave us an insight on what health care careers are like,” 
Student of the Week Jacqueline Fernandez

Her goals are to work inside of a hospital, providing care.

“It’s a setting where you get to experience more spontaneity and you just get to see more people, see different stories.” Fernandez said.

Fernandez still finds the time to be a high school student. She is a part of the art club, balancing her high school and college assignments along with club activities.

Even while she juggles responsibility and free time, Jacquline’s message to fellow students is to keep going.

“Don’t give up. It’ll all be worth it at the end. All the sacrifices, all the long hours, everything at the end. They’ll have it all,” Fernandez said.