12 Portage Collegiate Institute students have graduated from the Red River College Health Care Aid Program.

PCI Career Development Coordinator Blair Hordeski says it's amazing what the students in the program put into the course.

"Their first semester they worked so hard to get their compulsory courses so that they could, in fact, take this course second semester. The course is a very intensive course. They did so well at that. Then they went into a practicum where they followed an actual health care aid in the field doing 12-hour shifts."

Hordeski congratulates the students for all their hard work.

He notes the partnership with Red River is an amazing opportunity for the students. He says while the current partnership with Red River College is for the Health Care Aid Program, they are looking into expanding the partnership to include other programs.

"We've been talking about other opportunities, we have a number of students that are interested in early childhood education and it would be great to see if we could come up with some sort of partnership in that respect."

Portage la Prairie School Division Superintendent Todd Cuddington notes this year they set a record for the number of students graduating from the Health Care Aid Program, which he calls a phenomenal success. He adds a large part of that success is due to Hordeski's role in promoting the course and it's benefits for students.

He explains they had quite the mix of students taking the course.

"A mixture of students who are of age and those who are adult students; mature students who have come back, and I think largely because of that program. I think the great thing is no matter what you enter that program with in mind, whether it's "I want to just look at this because maybe there's a future for me in nursing or medicine or something like that," or if you're looking at this as a pathway to a career. We had a real mix and I think it was fantastic."

Cuddington says as a school division they couldn't be happier, adding the partnership with Red River College is something they are proud of.

The students in the Health Care Aid Program graduated with a certificate from the program as well as five credits toward their high-school diploma. See a list of this year's Health Care Aid graduates below.

Raelene Abraham
Samantha Brinton
MacKenzie Brydges
Daphne Cole
Samantha Guy
Jill Jackson
Danielle Longclaws
Zoey Ann Mulvena
Kailye Parker
Sarah Quipp
Dawn Randall
Hailey Smith