Mt. San Jacinto College inspires high school students at 4th annual Health Occupations Discovery Camp

Two students and an interactive robotic patient
Mia Roberts, top left, and Karolina Bolanos, seniors at Paloma Valley High School in Menifee, practice on an interactive robotic patient at the Health Occupations Discovery Camp, Jan. 7. Valley News/Mt. San Jacinto College photo

MENIFEE – Mt. San Jacinto College’s School of Nursing and Allied Health hosted its fourth annual Health Occupations Discovery Camp for local high school students Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 7-8, at the college’s Menifee Valley campus.

More than 200 high school students worked with about 60 nursing students in hands-on workshops that showcased careers in nursing and allied health. The two-day event was organized by the MSJC School of Nursing and Allied Health and the Inland Health Professions Coalition-Reach Out.

“The camp was designed to inspire the next generation of health care professionals,” Dr. Peter Zografos, director of School of Nursing and Allied Health at MSJC, said.

The students participated in activities that gave them a taste of careers in health care, including registered nurses, nursing assistants, emergency medical technicians, diagnostic medical sonography and other related careers.

Mia Roberts, a senior at Paloma Valley High School in Menifee, is in the biomedical science program at the school.

“It’s so neat to get the hands-on experience,” she said Tuesday. “I was so excited to come here today.”

Christopher Alog, a Paloma Valley High senior, looks forward to a career in nursing.

“My family had told me to consider nursing, so it’s always been in the back of my mind,” Alog said, who is also in Paloma Valley High’s biomedical science program. “Today has been great. It’s totally different hearing the sounds. It’s just so hands-on here.”

Lena Servin, a 2008 MSJC nursing alumnus, worked as a flight nurse for REACH Air Medical Services for the past four years. She flew in via the REACH helicopter that students interacted with Tuesday.

“I love it,” Servin said of the high-flying career. “You get to practice a lot of autonomy. It gives a wider scope of practice than you do in a hospital. But working in an (intensive care unit) is good preparation for taking care of the types of patients we take care of.”

For more information on MSJC’s Nursing and Allied Health program, visit

Submitted by Mt. San Jacinto College.