STC Dual Enrollment Student Sees Future as a Valley Pediatrician
Student of the Week: Bernice Evelyn Zavala
Senior at Progresso High School and STC DEMSA student Bernice Evelyn Zavala will graduate Spring 2022 with an Associate of Science through STC’s dual enrollment program. The program prepares students who wish to obtain work in health care where Zavala hopes to become a pediatric practitioner in the Valley.
Driven by a childhood dream, Bernice Evelyn Zavala is determined to succeed as a dual enrollment student at South Texas College.
“I want to do this, and I’m going to do this,” she remembers telling herself when she first applied to the Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy (DEMSA) program.
A senior at Progresso High School, the aspiring pediatrician joined STC’s dual enrollment program at the start of the pandemic to obtain an associate of science degree before graduating high school.
“This is a program for students who are passionate about the sciences and want to pursue a medical profession,” said Zavala. “As a DEMSA student, you have to be a responsible student and committed to your studies.”
The academy is designed to encourage area high school students to pursue the health care professions by providing college coursework and health-related opportunities that will educate and prepare students for higher education in the field.
The seventeen-year-old shares a memory that inspired her ambitious career choice.
“Something happened when I was six-years-old at a playground where all of a sudden, I heard a little girl crying,” recalls Zavala. “And I see that she is on the floor crying holding her knee up cradling, and I looked at my mom where she gave me this nod of approval knowing that I wanted to help, and I saw it was a scrape with blood which I asked my mom for tissues and a band-aid, and the girl just smiled at me, and I reassured her that everything was going to be O.K.”
Her instinct to help those in need is why she wants to pursue a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) and serve the Valley community.
“I always think of that little girl and know I want to help kids like her,” she said.
Working toward her career goals, Zavala excels in athletics and currently serves as president of her high school’s Medical Health Careers Club.
“I have built on my responsibility and trustworthiness with my coaches and teammates and leadership amongst my peers,” said Zavala. “I use these qualities throughout school and am going to continue applying them throughout my college education and future profession.”
Zavala earned an STC President’s Honor Roll Award for her academic achievements.
She plans to care for children in the Valley where she feels the need to be.
“My parents have supported me all along and I am reminded that this is what I want to do,” she said.
To learn more about STC’s DEMSA program visit, https://www.southtexascollege.edu/dual/academies/
“I want to do this, and I’m going to do this. This is a program for students who are passionate about the sciences and want to pursue a medical profession. As a DEMSA student, you have to be a responsible student and committed to your studies.”