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University of Arizona Health Sciences Day connects with more than 200 students

Nearly 200 students interested in becoming future health and medical professionals from around Yuma County gathered at Cibola High School Tuesday, Nov. 26 for the University of Arizona’s annual Health Sciences Day to hear, first-hand, the wide number of options available in the health sciences program at the university.

Cibola hosted the event, which has taken place annually for nearly a dozen years, in partnership with “Friends of Arizona Health Services,” UA Yuma and Gowan Company. Students attended from all five comprehensive Yuma Union High School District schools and were selected based on interest and high academic achievement.

“We are here to expose students to careers in the health sciences field,” UA Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Outreach Coordinator Sierra Dunn said. "We are really interested in growing our own. We want high school students to already learn about the opportunities for careers in health sciences to them and especially with dual credit classes available to them, right now, they can start taking those courses that will be required for those majors.”

Yuma County is the only county that UA participates in this type of informational event, which gives students an opportunity to meet current students and representatives from the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health; learn what classes should be completed in high school to prepare for a career in health sciences; find out about activities that could help boost acceptance in one of the most competitive fields at the university; learn about future job opportunities in the medical field in Yuma; and more.

“I decided to come because I would like a career in the medical field, so I wanted to learn more about different types of careers available, different options,” Yuma High senior Paola Zavala said. “And I just wanted to get a better idea of how to reach my goal in the future, so I thought this would be really helpful in helping me do so.”

Gila Ridge nursing student Jonathan Barragan added: "I just wanted more information about the University of Arizona and see if I'm interested in attending. I'm not sure which university I want to attend yet and this could help me learn which one has the best benefits [for me]."

Multiple presenters flew in from the UA Tucson campus. Presenters were also in attendance from Yuma Regional Medical Center.  

Cibola’s vocational culinary arts program catered lunch for select students and presenters.

Eric Patten