SALINAS, Calif. (KION) - At North Salinas High School, the Viking Sports Medicine Program gives students a unique chance to gain real-world experience at a young age.
Jenna Mendoza, Hailey Morrell, and Isabella Curtis are all students in David Tari's class.
“I love being able to do hands-on things," Morrell said. "Instead of just sitting at a desk writing things down and watching the teachers do stuff, I would rather be able to do it myself.”
In addition to learning more about the profession, students also have a chance to learn more about themselves.
“I want to be an athletic trainer," Mendoza said. "I realize that a lot this year, so this is really helping me achieve that goal.”
In the Viking Sports Medicine Program, students learn a variety of ways to help injured athletes including taping, but on Friday nights, students gain much more responsibility when they take the field.
“If someone gets hurt, we are running out there, we are bringing them back to the sideline, and helping them," Mendoza said. "We are using our own knowledge, our own experiences to help them.”
On the field, students have a chance to apply what they have learned, providing an entirely new perspective.
“This is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime experience I would say," Curtis said, "As a high school student especially.”
David Tari started the athletic training program over ten years ago when he first arrived at North Salinas High School. He hopes to continue to expand it in the future.