Profile of a CCISD Graduate, Part 6

Profile of a CCISD Graduate, Part 6
Posted on 05/30/2019
Graduate Profile

By: Sydney Hunt, Senior Communications Specialist

Aleyda Macias was on a path of uncertainty when she started high school her freshman year.

“I wasn’t in the greatest group with the best energy,” Aleyda said. “I also had issues with procrastination and distractions, along with a semi-sensitive temperament, so it was hard.”

It got to the point where she visited with her assistant principal and told her she didn’t feel comfortable anymore in a large high school setting and wanted to explore other options.

She asked Aleyda what topics or career fields she was interested in to figure out what might be a good match.

“I told her I was thinking about the medical field, so she recommended Clear View High School since it is home to the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program for CCISD,” Aleyda said. “She gave me the form and I immediately went home to fill it out.”

Not only did Clear View fit in terms of her interested career field at the time, but it was also a fit in the sense of the smaller classroom setting and more personalized learning environment that was lacking for Aleyda in a larger high school.

“I started my sophomore year at Clear View and began taking the CNA courses,” Aleyda said. “It was such a good experience being in the smaller classes because you really build a lot of connections with the people you are working with.”

The program also partners with the nursing home across the street to give students the real-world setting of being a nurse.

“Being in that setting really helped me figure out if I wanted to do nursing or not,” Aleyda said, who added that she was thankful she was able to explore the field at a young age before she reached college. “Even if you don’t end up getting your CNA license through the program, which I didn’t, you still benefit from the coursework since you learn a lot of vital skills, such as CPR and first aid techniques.”

Aleyda’s interests began to change when she was introduced to the Student Adult Leadership Service Alliance (SALSA) program, which is one of the many clubs and organizations offered at the school.

This program is in its fifth year and is made possible by the Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Families. It was created based on funds from the state which tasked the Alliance to create a Youth Adult Council where students and community adults work side-by-side with equal voice to address risk factors in the community. 

“It blew my mind the first year I was part of it,” Aleyda said. “Part of the program is bringing in professionals, such as accountants or business owners, to meet with us so we have different resources to help prepare us for life after high school.”

The other offering of the program is creating ways for students to reach out to their peers about substance abuse prevention and mental health disparities.

Aleyda was tasked with spreading the word about the SALSA program’s efforts and events during Red Ribbon Week and the school’s Love Above Week, which encourages students to put love above hate, violence, apathy, drugs and alcohol. 

“I tried to get everyone excited for Love Above Week and our future programs we had going on, which included talking to teachers during their staff meetings,” Aleyda said. “Seeing how enthusiastic a student was about it, rather than having a staff member explain it, really made an impact.”

She quickly became the voice of the program and was chosen to speak on a panel in front of a large auditorium full of doctors and families at a local hospital to talk about how the SALSA program has impacted her life.

“This was different because I really wanted to portray the positive, emotional impact the program could have within a different setting, such as their hospital,” Aleyda said. “I got to tell them happy moments and it was a huge leadership role that I will never forget.”

The SALSA program not only changed the course of Aleyda’s life, but also pushed her in helping others who were struggling.

“I had a friend who just felt like she was really removed from everything in her life,” Aleyda said. “It was disappointing to hear that, so over the years I got her into SALSA and pushed her to get involved. She ended up really benefiting from it and completely evolved.”

Aleyda ended up graduating from Clear View a semester early and is currently a business and marketing student at San Jacinto College.

“The SALSA leadership skills I acquired are definitely something that led me towards this path of wanting to explore positions in management that make an impact, such as what the Bay Area Alliance does,” Aleyda said. “I am just grateful to be where I am today and for everything Clear View offered me.”

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