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Newsbeat visited Ms. Dana Loyd, site coordinator, at West High school in Wichita today concerning the KHH – Communities-In-Schools partnership.

Dana Loyd (center) along with Jamaal and Mary.

Newsbeat: Dana could you please describe the activities of Communities-In-Schools?

Dana: “It is a national, non-for- profit organization which provides students a network to help them stay in school and complete both their primary and secondary schooling. The Wichita division is a part of the Kansas organization.”

Newsbeat: “What is your background and how long have you been with Communities-In-Schools?

Dana: “My degree from Wichita State University is in communication. About seven years ago I began working with junior high students through the Communities program and for the past four years I have been working with student at West High school in Wichita.”

Newsbeat: “What are your duties?”

Dana: “First of all, I am a full-time employee of Communities-In-Schools but my office is located at West High school. I currently have 50-60 active students on my caseload and will have greater than 600 interactions with students throughout the academic year. As a site coordinator, I am a conduit between needy students and their families with multiple outside agencies which provide assistance to those students and their families.”

Newsbeat: “The sheer volume and needs of students can certainly overwhelm you. How do you do it?

Dana: “Well, at times, it is overwhelming. Jamaal and Mary assist me and are working towards their master’s degrees at Wichita State.”

Newsbeat: “How does education play a role in your support plan?”

Dana: “Education is critical. Providing opportunities for students to experience real-life work situations by job-shadowing opens kids’ eyes and imaginations to a world of possibilities. Kansas Heart Hospital has provided this type of support as well charitable donations over our three year relationship.”

Newsbeat: “Could you elaborate?”

Dana: “Students from our health science curriculum and business curriculum have visited Kansas Heart Hospital and spent time in various clinical areas, surgery, lab and the business office where they have been able to connect the dots from what they study in the classroom to future healthcare jobs. On November 8th, Ben Hedges, manager of Respiratory Care at Kansas Heart, Susan Bradford Director of  Nursing and Deana Boso, Cath Lab manager participated in a Career Day at West High school and presented their firsthand experiences to the students.”

Newsbeat: “What do you like best about your job?”

Dana: “The students have great needs and I know that I and my staff can make a difference.”

Click here for further information concerning Communities-In-School.