Winnacunnet’s graduating class of 2022 are not all going to college right after high school; Senior Sage Marquis is taking a different path. She said she has decided to take a gap year and work as a Licensed Nursing Assistant while also saving money to go back to school.
Marquis said she started her journey by taking the Health Science and Technologies program through the Seacoast School of Technology (SST), which has many different programs offered to students through the school.
“I highly recommend taking this course if you have any interest in the healthcare field,” Marquis said.
Sage Marquis- Courtesy Photo/Yearbook
“Learning how to take care of people and applying the skills to real residents has had a huge impact. There are some things that we are told as students that really open your eyes.”
She said she worked with Bernadine Perrotta, the Health Science and Technologies adviser at SST, and senior Mykenzie O’brien.
Perrotta said the goal of the program is to educate more people about all the careers they may choose in a healthcare background. She said that in the second semester, students choose either an LNA track or an allied health track.
“This program is for any student who enjoys the science aspect of anatomy and physiology as well as wanting to explore and expand their knowledge in the health sciences field,” Perrotta said. “My advice would be to be prepared to learn a lot of information and have fun doing it.”
Perrotta said that Marquis volunteered her first year to be a patient for the second year students. She said Marquis was very willing to help others with techniques that she had already mastered.
“Sage is a very gifted student who caught on quickly and had great points to add,” Perrotta said. “She was cheerful, respectful and kind, and willing to help whenever the need arose.”
O’brien said Marquis is a good student, and that she loved working with her. “I found we had a lot of fun being partners and trying to help each other with skills,” O’brien said.”
O’brien said that Marquis has improved a lot in the past two years. “She has been able to advocate for herself better,” O’brien said “She has learned time management and been able to procrastinate less.”
Marquis said she also took part in an ELO where students can talk to real doctors and ask questions about their desired fields of interest. She said the idea of helping people and the healthcare industry fascinated her, and it wasn’t until two years ago that she considered a career in healthcare.
“Career choice was always a hard topic to talk about because I really didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do,” Marquis said. “Now that I have the experience I am able to talk more passionately about my future.”
Marquis said that being an LNA takes a lot of hard work, dedication and responsibility.
“In order to become certified, I had to watch videos, fill out textbooks and apply the skills on mannequins in front of my instructor,” Marquis said. “After a few long weeks, we were given the opportunity to work in a real nursing home.”
There, Marquis said she helped residents perform Activities of Daily Living, like assistance to the bathroom, walking, eating, and offering the residents companionship.
“The journey was long but very worth it,” Marquis said. “I grew to really care for my residents and they will be a part of me for the rest of my life.”
Marquis said that after her gap year, she will most likely go back to school and pursue a career as a labor and delivery nurse.