Portage Collegiate Institute began a health care aid course this past school year and students are now entering into the second semester.  Career Development Coordinator Blair Hordeski says the school's excited. 

"It's a great partnership we have with Red River College Polytechnic here in Portage. It involves our students in Grade 12 that have completed the necessary courses that they need to graduate Semester 1 that they can actually take a college course Semester 2," says Hordeski. "Our Grade 12 students will be attending the college full-time this Semester Two. What we're most excited about is the growth of this program and we actually have 16 participants in this year, which is a record number."

He adds they're feeling quite proud to be able to help in an area that's in really need today. 

"16 PCI students will be graduating with this year with their high school diploma, but in addition, a Health Care Aid certificate that's valid across most of Canada.."

That began this past Monday.

Zaineb Oke says she took the course because she enjoys taking care of people. 

"When I was a kid, whenever people got sick beside me, I used to take care of them," says Oke. "People used to give me this inspiration like, 'Oh, it's good to be here a nurse because you used to take care of people.' I like listening to people a lot. I used to watch a lot of medical movies and I got the interest in it. Since, then I've loved to be a nurse, and that's why I'm taking this healthcare course, like, to have some experience of nursing."

Kristina Fuentes says it's always been her dream to practice nursing.

"Ever since I was a kid, I've seen a lot of movies or films about nurses in the Philippines," says Fuentes. "Filipinos are known for having a lot of nurses. I think it runs in the blood, but I'm just very curious about how the human body works and how diseases are being treated now. We have technology and it's just, I think, a good job, basically."

Thalia Nikkel says she's taking the course, seeing as her grandmother is a nurse and her mother and aunt were also healthcare workers. 

"I grew up around it, and as a kid, I would go to the hospital," Explains Nikkel. "I've had some pretty interesting experiences and nurses are always very comforting and kind to people.  I'm probably going to do the healthcare course and I can save up for, hopefully, college and do psychology. So, it's mostly a segue into my other degree that I want to go into."