Guam High School
AGANA HEIGHTS, Guam — Inspired by a new nursing program started this year at Guam High School, Amberly Rae Martin is one of only 20 seniors graduating this year from a DoDEA Pacific high school with the coursework and experience to obtain a Certified Nurse Assistant endorsement from the state of North Carolina.
To earn the certification, Martin received specialized training, applied her knowledge and skills during required clinical hours assisting at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, and she took the challenging CNA examination that involved both written and skills-based components. The final test results are due in mid-June.
The CNA endorsement would allow Martin to be hired directly out of high school to provide patient care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and Hospice and doctors' offices. The endorsement also helps with college admissions and required coursework for those students pursuing a health sciences degree in North Carolina.
Inspired by her exposure to the nursing field during high school and her mother, Kimberly Martin, the Summerville, S.C. native will attend Charleston Southern University this fall to pursue a nursing degree.
"My mom has always pushed me to do my absolute best, and she is one of the reasons why I want to go into the medical field," said Martin. "My mom is most definitely my hero, and I want to follow in her footsteps. She's the reason I am who I am today. I couldn't thank her enough."
When she first enrolled in a DoDEA Pacific school three years ago, Martin said she wasn't looking forward to the new experience—especially when her father, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Dennis Martin, Jr., told her that Guam HS required uniforms.
"Looking at it now, I appreciate having uniforms," said Martin, who is also a member of the yearbook class. "Having them cuts down on kids getting made fun of for not having those expensive, brand-name clothes. DoDEA schools also pay for AP exams for students taking Advanced Placement courses. All of this saving [of money] helps a lot during the senior year."
Her concerns about attending Guam HS faded further when she started getting involved in extracurricular activities like cheerleading and softball.This enabled her to travel to other countries for, "a really cool thing called Far East competition, where our sports teams travel to Japan or Korea to go against their school sports teams.""Something I will never forget about both of these sports is how close we all got to each other," Martin added. "We bonded to where we are considered sisters."
Amberly also bonded with her favorite teacher, Sonia Siakisini, who pushed "all of us to do our best, becoming better than what we thought we could be."
Siakisini, a registered nurse with a bachelor's degree in nursing, described Amberly's greatest quality in one word: caring.
"Amberly is one of those special people who has the ability to bring sunshine and happiness to those in need—simply because she truly, honestly cares," added Siakisini.
About DoDEA Pacific:The first organized schools for the children of U.S. military personnel serving in the Pacific were established in 1946 during post-World War II reconstruction. Throughout the decades, Department of Defense schools evolved to become a comprehensive and high-performing K-12 school system solely dedicated to educating the children of America's heroes. Today, DoDEA Pacific's 49 schools serve over 23,500 children of U.S. military and eligible DoD civilian personnel families stationed throughout the Pacific theater. The DoDEA Pacific teaching, administrative and school support team includes more than 3,300 full-time professionals. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.