COMMUNITY PARTNER SERIES: TEXAS ARTHRITIS RHEUMATOLOGY SPECIALISTS

Did you know the Van High School CTE program also has off-campus offerings that include internships with community partners so students can get real-world, on-site job experiences in various career paths? To highlight these incredible opportunities, we’ve started a Community Partner Series to feature these businesses and our student’s stories within these valuable internships!

Next up in this series is student intern Amy Viramontes and Texas Arthritis Rheumatology Specialists. Amy was chosen for their intern program that trains students with the skills necessary to run a medical office.

Amy was intrigued when she first learned of this internship. She said, “Luckily, Mrs. Rainey was contacted about this awesome opportunity last fall and shared it with my teacher, Mrs. Ayers. When Mrs. Ayers shared the details about the internship with my class, I knew I wanted to pursue it! I was very fortunate to be chosen for this internship and began in December of 2020.” Amy added, “I am so thankful that Van has a CTE program. If it weren’t for this program, I wouldn’t have had this amazing opportunity or be where I am today. This internship has allowed me to get my foot in the door, gain some valuable experience, and get a sneak peek into what it actually looks like to manage a medical office. Not only is the staff I have the privilege of working with helpful and kind, but I learn something new every day!”

Amy said her teachers and classes at Van High School had a strong hand in preparing her for opportunities like this.

“I have a full course load and have to stay on a tight schedule. I’ve had great teachers who’ve not only taught me academics but also helped me learn how to manage my time properly.”

When asked what teacher has made the biggest impact on her, Amy replied, “I’ve had so many wonderful teachers, it’s difficult to say who was most influential. One that stands out is Mrs. Ayers because she opened my eyes to the real world and the many opportunities available to me in the medical field. Another teacher who has truly motivated and inspired me would have to be Mr. Swearingen, my choir teacher for the past four years.”

These internships don’t just benefit VHS students. Liz Hinch, office manager for Texas Arthritis, said this program is advantageous for their organization as well. Liz explained, “Amy has become a valuable contributor to Texas Arthritis. She quickly learned our electronic healthcare and scheduling program and assists us three days a week by answering phones, scheduling patient visits, and tasking questions to nurses for return calls. Because Amy is bilingual, she is also an asset to our Spanish-speaking patients both on the phone and in the office.” Liz continued, “Texas Arthritis is pleased to partner with Van High School to offer students an internship that provides experience with the inner workings of a private practice clinic. Through this program, student interns are invited into our daily workflow and gain a behind-the-scenes look into our operation. We are thrilled to see schools offer CTE programs that encourage and support students as they explore their interests and plan for their future careers. These small glimpses help students identify passions and opportunities they may not otherwise see.”

Van ISD CTE Director Karla Rainey says, “We are extremely pleased businesses in our local community and extended community partner with us to provide student internships, scholarships, business tours, guest speakers, student mentoring, and numerous other valuable opportunities. Amy is learning valuable on-the-job experience at the Texas Arthritis Clinic in Tyler. We are grateful to the staff there for taking such good care of our Vandal!”

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a VISD CTE Community Partner, contact Karla Rainey at 903–963–8730 x3212 or karla.rainey@vanisd.org.