Timyrius Lewis Aims to be first HS Senior to Compete for OFTC’s Practical Nursing Program
A few weeks after completing his junior year of high school, Timyrius Lewis plans to be the first-ever high school student to compete for practical nursing classes at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC).
OFTC’s Practical Nursing program is competitive and requires several core classes to be completed before a student can begin the competitive admissions process. Because of Lewis’s participation in dual enrollment classes, he’s way ahead of the game.
Dual Enrollment: Getting Started
Lewis is a rising senior at Washington County High School in Sandersville and started taking dual enrollment classes in the ninth grade. He’s used the opportunity to start college early to get ahead and pursue a career in the medical field.
“During my first year of high school, we had a gradewide advisement meeting and dual enrollment was one of the topics brought up,” Lewis shared. “Something that stuck out to me was the ability to obtain various certifications and degrees while in high school.”
“I was unfamiliar with OFTC and influenced by the common misconception that technical colleges are not good for you,” he said. “I made a decision that day to get a head start on my college education.”
And that’s what he did. At the conclusion of his junior year, Lewis had taken more than 20 college classes, including the Nurse Aide Technical Certificate of Credit program at OFTC where he successfully met the requirements to sit for and pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program to become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA).
While there was no doubt Lewis was taking his commitment to the medical field seriously, after obtaining his CNA license he took advantage of his high school’s Work Based Learning program where he is released early from his high school to go to work. “I work 32 hours a week as a CNA at Oconee Health and Rehabilitation in Oconee, Ga.,” Lewis said. “My shift starts right after my school days end.”
“It can be hard at times, but I am extremely strict when it comes to my ability to discipline myself regarding education,” he added. “There are a lot of long days and short nights, but I set aside time for my schoolwork, and I know my hard work will pay off one day!”
Dual Enrollment: Career Ready
After becoming a CNA and obtaining employment in his field, Lewis knew the medical field was where he wanted to be. So, he continued to take college courses to meet the qualifications to compete for OFTC’s Practical Nursing Program which will begin a new cohort in the fall.
“When I chose to begin dual enrollment, I didn’t have a clue about college,” Lewis said, “but I could not have made a better decision. Dual enrollment allowed me to get a feel of what my life will one day be like as a college student and a healthcare provider.”
Lewis has great plans for his future, including becoming an LPN, obtaining a phlebotomy license, becoming a Registered Nurse, going to medical school, and owning his own practice, and he hopes to accomplish these dreams by the time he’s 30.
“I was once told to work my way up the ladder in the healthcare profession, and these experiences I’m gaining through dual enrollment at OFTC are allowing me to become educated early in aspects about my future career,” Lewis shared. “Working my way through the ranks will aid me in becoming a more efficient doctor one day.”
The OFTC Difference
While Lewis has earned his college credits from multiple colleges, his experience at OFTC has made an impact and is what keeps bringing him back.
“OFTC has been my primary dual enrollment institution,” Lewis said. “At OFTC, I am more than just a student ID number; I am recognized as Mr. Timyrius Lewis and that means something to me.”
Not only has he felt a part of the OFTC family, but he’s experienced first-hand what it’s like to be adequately prepared for a career, and that has made it worth it.
“My instructors at OFTC consisted of former and current nurses who have shown a great level of care for me over the years,” Lewis said. “The rigorous training involved in the program is to ensure their students are ready to properly provide care and treatment to someone one day; they prepared me to be a successful CNA and I know they are going to prepare me to be a successful nurse.”
Reflecting on his experience, Lewis wants others to know they can take advantage of the same opportunities.
“Dual enrollment fuels college success,” he said. “You are given the opportunity to be a college student while still in high school, and OFTC will prepare you for your future when you go off to your primary institution after graduating from high school.”
“After I complete the PN program, I know that I will be prepared to attend college at a four-year institution and be successful because OFTC has prepared me for what to expect with the same standards and expectations,” he added.
Lewis is competing for the PN program this summer and will find out if he’s been accepted late July. He says he plans to dedicate his future endeavors to his late grandmother Linda Smith Satcher.
To learn more about dual enrollment opportunities at OFTC or the practical nursing program, visit the college’s website, OFTC.edu.