High school student donates blood, pursues medical career
Frenship High School senior Kolby Stewart lies on a gurney before having his blood drawn by Rusty Snodgrass, donor care supervisor with United Blood Services, during a recent blood drive at FHS. (Photo by Karen Michael)
Kolby Stewart may be just a senior at Frenship High School, but last Wednesday, he may have helped save a life.
Stewart, 17, took time out of his school day to give blood at a United Blood Services blood drive. He was one of 113 students to donate blood at the drive, sponsored by the Frenship Independent School District Health Science Technology Department.
This is his second time to donate blood, the first being last spring semester at the high school.
Lying on a gurney, gripping a red rubber heart, and surrounded by other students who were donating, Stewart said that donating only hurts a bit.
“It doesn’t really hurt, it’s like getting a shot,” said Stewart. “The worst part is the finger prick, the iron test.”
He said he sees donating blood as just another opportunity to help someone.
“I have O blood, so more people can use that,” said Stewart.
Stewart is already making a career out of helping others. Through Frenship High School, he took medical courses and was licensed by the state at the end of last semester as a certified nurse’s aid. He is now working part time at Covenant Medical Center.
His schedule varies at the hospital, but some weeks he works as many as 20 hours per week.
At FHS, he is taking medical terminology, pharmacy technician and EMT basic courses. In the spring, he will take phlebotomy.
After graduation, Stewart would like to attend college. He said he hopes to attend Texas A&M and take part in an officer training program, then join the U.S. Marines after college.
Stewart said as a child, he looked up to his dad, who was a paramedic, and has always wanted a career in the medical field.
“From the time I was little, I’ve always felt something in medicine was what I needed to do,” said Stewart. Only recently has he been thinking about the Marines, he said, and he’s not sure what he would be doing as a Marine.
“After I do my time in the Marines, I want to go back into the medical field,” he said.
Barbara Boswell, the FHS Health Science Technology instructor, said Stewart was one of 113 students to donate blood, up from 58 during the fall semester of 2007. The increase is due to a new policy from United Blood Services which allows 16-year-olds to donate blood if they meet the physical criteria for donations and have a parent permission slip.
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