SOW: Kate Murray September 29, 2008

Community college course helps Grand Junction High senior prepare for future in medical profession

SOW Kate Murray in a class at the Western Colorado Community College

Kate Murray doesn’t recall specifically how she assisted the special education teachers at her elementary school, but she does remember how rewarding the experience was.

Murray said she has wanted to help others ever since that time in elementary school, and now the Grand Junction High School senior is within reach of that goal.

The medical preparation course taught at Western Colorado Community College to high school juniors and seniors is a highly competitive program, and Murray was one of 60 students selected out of the 180 who applied.

“I just love helping people, kids especially,” Murray said.

The course gives Murray a taste for what she hopes her future career would be: pediatric nursing.

Students in the program will spend the fall semester learning anatomy and physiology, said instructor
Theresa Bloom, and will rotate through workplace training during the spring semester.

By the end of the program, Bloom said, each student will qualify for the certified nurse assistant license.

“Kate is just awesome,” Bloom said. “She has a good head on her shoulders and a good feel for the material.”

Murray said she isn’t sure where she would like to go to college, but she was thinking about Mesa State College, Colorado Christian University or the University of Northern Colorado.

All those schools have excellent teaching programs, she said, and Murray wants to combine a nursing and teaching career with special education and sign language.

Staying in Colorado is important, too, Murray said.

Her father was one of several energy industry workers to be lured to the Grand Valley by a job offer, Murray said, so her family moved to Grand Junction from Oregon in 2006.

Murray began high school at Fruita Monument but moved to Grand Junction High shortly after, where she is involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“My religion is very important to me,” said Murray, who belongs to the Calvary Bible Church. “If there is an event at my church, I’m probably there.”

Murray’s church also helped her fund an 18-day trip to Australia this summer, where she toured the country as a member of the People to People Student Ambassador program.

The program was started in 1956 by the Eisenhower administration, Murray said, to help students experience foreign cultures.

“The Aboriginis really intrigued me,” Murray said. “Their experience is very similar to the Native Americans here. I never realized how bad they were treated.”

GPA: 3.5

Parents: Jo and Al

Preferred College: Mesa State, CCU or UNC

Where she see’s herself in five years: working toward a teaching license

Favorite music: Stellar Kart

Favorite TV show: Untold Stories of the E.R.

Hero: doesn’t have one

I’m most proud of: raising the money to go to Australia



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