HCA Scholarship Winner: Tabitha Saint Georges

Tabitha Saint George, a medical academy student from Santaluces Community High School, is a passionate advocate for mental health. She has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the HCA Florida’s JFK Medical Staff Scholarship – one of fifteen students from the School District of Palm Beach County to receive the award. With the help of her Medical Academy training, Tabitha earned Emergency Medical Response (EMR) Certification, Medical Administrative Office Assistant (CMAA) Certification, and Pharmacy Technician Certification.
Tabitha is looking to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a focus on psychology for her higher education. Her long-term goal is to become a mental health nurse. To further specialize in psychiatric healthcare, she hopes to gain plenty of hands-on experience before going back to school to acquire a Master’s of Science in Nursing.

Let’s learn a little bit more about Tabitha…

What clinical experience did you have in the medical academy and what skills did you develop from the experience?

I participated in clinical at Easy Reach Chiropractic and Walgreens Pharmacy.

I shadowed a Chiropractor at Easy Reach Chiropractic Center, where I expanded my knowledge of various bones and muscles within the human body. While being an intern, I developed my communication skills by interacting with patients in a professional setting. I also shadowed a Pharmacist at Walgreens, where I learned how to properly handle and fill prescriptions which helped to build my knowledge on the job of a Pharmacy Technician. I was able to sort and file medications in the proper way, which in the end, helped me to become more of an organized person. I also was educated on how to handle missing prescriptions and out-of-stock medications, which made me a greater problem solver. 

What impact did school activities have on your educational/career journey?

I’ve learned a handful of skills, and one of those skills is time management. With having to attend meetings and events, it is necessary to make sure your extracurriculars are balanced out with your school and personal life. I also learned how to communicate more effectively to ensure that everyone can fully understand the message I’m trying to send out. It can sometimes be difficult to express a question or concern with others; however, with experience, I have understood what words or phrases can lead to more engagement in sensitive and casual conversations. I have also learned adaptability. In my opinion, the most universal experience has to be changed. Change is inevitable and to some can be very difficult to manage. However, learning how to adapt to that change is something that I learned in activities. From meeting changes to switching event plans, I have seen it all, but I will refuse to give up simply because change is inconvenient. Having to know all of those skills before attending post-secondary school is very crucial, which is why I am grateful I have experience with these skills before moving along in my academic career.

Describe a challenge you have overcome and how you grew from the experience.

As a kid, I would hear,  people with mental health problems should not be near us because they’re abnormal.  I could not understand for the life of me why someone would say such words or where those harmful words were coming from. However, as I was growing up, I learned that within some cultures people were taught that if you had poor mental health, you were labeled crazy and insane. By middle school, I knew that way of thinking was dangerous and began to do extensive research on mental health. I had a thriving new passion and became an advocate for mental health.  I created a club at Santaluces Community High School called Bring Change to Mind, which focuses on the importance of advocacy and the stigma that surrounds mental health. Through Bring Change to Mind, students of all backgrounds can discuss mental health. During our meetings, we help to create a space for students to talk about their struggles and express their life stories in an environment where they feel heard and most importantly, safe.  I strongly believe in the importance of standing up for what you believe in, which is why I will continue to expand my knowledge on the topic of mental health and continue being an advocate and encourage others to spread awareness, break barriers, and go against the stigma of mental health.

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