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More than 700 attend College Fair

Many area students interested in health care careers

Many area students interested in health care careers

October 14, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

HAGERSTOWN -- Washington County Technical High senior Kenise Lewis wants to be a pediatrician.

Williamsport High senior Jake Shank wants to find a college with a good music program.

Hagerstown Community College student Patrick Demosky wants to study electrical engineering.

Most of the students interviewed at the Washington County College Fair on Wednesday night had specific goals in mind when they entered the doors of Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

They knew what programs they wanted to pursue and, sometimes, to which schools they wanted to talk.

With about 30 minutes remaining in the fair Wednesday night, 723 people -- mostly students and family members -- had attended. The college fair is the main one for Washington County, though others are held in neighboring counties, said Jennifer A. Haughie, HCC's director of admissions, records and registrations.

Many area students are interested in health care careers, and there are many job opportunities in those fields, Haughie said. The poor economy also has led to more questions about financial aid opportunities, she said.

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Kelsi Sines, 16, of Clear Spring, is interested in nursing.

"My parents have talked to me about it," said Kelsi, adding that she thinks nursing pays well. She's especially interested in the program at Shepherd University, where she has visited twice.

Kenise, 18, has wanted to go into medicine since she was in elementary school. She was in fifth grade when her grandmother had cancer.

"My mom is a nurse. I have a lot of family that are in the health care field," said Kenise, who was looking into University of Maryland's Baltimore County and College Park programs. "I just like helping other people. I like little kids."

Michael Gift, 16, a junior at North Hagerstown High, came to talk to the Navy recruiter because he wants to be a SEAL. "It's just the thrill of doing it, something different. One of my friends is going in," said Michael, a wrestler at North.

Michael's father, Jeff, was a petty officer in the Navy who provided aviation support and was stationed at Midway, Jeff Gift said.

Michael's mom, Jeannine Gift, said she's steering Michael toward ROTC rather than direct enlistment in the Navy.

Jake Shank, 17, of Halfway, isn't sure what he wants to do with music, "but I don't really see myself doing anything but it."

Jake rattled off a list of 14 instruments he plays. The main two are the tuba, which he plays for Williamsport's wind ensemble, and tenor drums, which he plays for the marching band. He first started playing an instrument at age 10 and now plays a variety of drums, guitars, saxes and brass instruments.

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