New Visions ECS

By Louisa Benatovich

ECS Student Reporter

In the spring of last year, three Ellicottville juniors submitted an application. It was a rigorous process requiring an essay, multiple teacher recommendations and an almost immaculate transcript. With the press of a button, it was over. All they could do was wait.

Myself, Brennan Finn and Sierra Maybee were the only Ellicottville students to apply to the selective New Vision: Health Professions program. Held at the Olean BOCES center, New Vision is an amazing opportunity for high school students interested in the medical field.

Through the program, accepted individuals have the opportunity to earn 17 college credits, taking JCC courses such as Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Medical Office Terminology, Health Science and English 1530. New Vision participants have the potential to shave an entire year off college. Alongside the classes, New Vision students (starting Oct. 17) shadow longstanding health professionals at the Olean General Hospital. From obstetrics to geriatrics, students get a taste of all corners of the medical landscape, potentially helping them decide on a lifetime career.

In early summer, the three were all accepted into the program. Over the vacation, we studied, read and took notes, preparing for the new scholastic year.

Jennifer Militello, the New Vision instructor at Olean BOCES for almost 20 years, was excited to meet her 15 new pupils on Aug. 29.

“I absolutely love teaching this program,” she said. “I love watching my students grow and develop, and see where they end up after college!”

Comprised of students from Ellicottville, Olean, Allegany-Limestone, Cattaraugus-Little Valley and Franklinville, this batch of New Vision students are pushing each other to their fullest potential. With only seven days of school under their belts as of press time, New Vision students have already taken several tests, written essays, dissected rats, and held hearts (albeit plastic ones) in their hands.

Brennan Finn is particularly enjoying the program, even showing up early to class.

“New Visions is a great program that helps us get a head start to college!” he said. “The program gives hands-on experience through lab classes at JCC and doing rotations in the hospital later this year.”

Finn, who hopes to open his own physical therapy practice, is excited for all that the program has to offer.

Sierra Maybee, a prospective pharmacist, is looking forward to making the most of her senior year by taking such high level classes Driving to Olean everyday definitely doesn’t make for a boring senior year!

As for me, looking toward medical school, I appreciate the academic rigor of the program, and how wonderful it is to learn something I am truly passionate about.

As the second week begins, the three of us ECS students prepare to learn cell structure and function, review chemistry, use Microsoft Excel (an eternal mystery), and make many, many flashcards. For us, New Vision: Health Professions is an oasis of possibility; we plan to drink every last drop.