The conference centered around students finding their leadership voices and using them to amplify their strengths as leaders, role models and BPA and DECA members. In addition to sessions on learning their styles and working with other leaders, students also heard from Alton Carter, author of “The Boy Who Carried Bricks” and “Aging Out” and founder of the Alton Carter Inspire Foundation, which helps individuals in foster homes, group homes and boys ranches earn college degrees.
“This year has brought about so many changes, but one thing it has not changed is the hard work and dedication that Oklahoma CTSO state officers pour into their organizations,” said Paxton Cavin, state BPA and DECA adviser. “No matter what has been put in their path, on their list or abruptly changed, these officers have stepped up to the occasion. I could not be more proud of these two state officer teams and the work they have done and continue to do during this crazy year.”
This man’s wife didn’t need an X-ray to see her husband’s passion for health care.
THEN: A bachelor’s degree in business information systems guided him toward a career in marketing and retail, but when Samir Elneser was in his 40s, he was suddenly laid off and looking for a new job.
Elneser was born in the United States to immigrants from Colombia and Lebanon. The son of a doctor, he chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps. When the younger Elneser lost his job, however, his wife convinced him to reconsider the medical field. He took her advice, training as a nurse’s aide and going to work in a hospital. There he discovered he was more interested in the work being done by the radiologic technologists.
He found a full-time RT program at Metro Technology Centers. He joined HOSA, the CareerTech student organization affiliated with health careers education, winning gold medals at both state and international competitions. Elneser
Found his lifelong profession at Metro Tech.
Learned to take patient X-rays.
Received the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists radiography certification.
“Taking X-rays requires creating a high level of patient comfort through proper positioning and communication,” he said. “I also interact and engage with many different patients in a typical day, and I enjoy that diversity.”
NOW: A radiologic technologist at Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center-Norman, OU Medicine and Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. Elneser finished the program with 15 classmates he considers close friends.
He said Metro Tech was invested in his success. Even when the program was challenging, Elneser said, he knew he had the support of his teachers.
“My teachers held me and my classmates accountable while instilling the confidence we needed to be the best.”