Alaysha Mendes celebrated the start of her career at Nemasket Healthcare Center with her family and friends during industry signing day at Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School on Monday, May 23.

Industry signing day was held in recognition of graduating students involved with Old Colony’s co-op program who have signed on to a full time position in their respective fields. Alaysha was recognized for having accepted a 40-hour position as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Nemasket Healthcare Center. Alaysha started working at Nemasket as a per diem co-op student CNA in October 2022, and she joined our team on a full time basis when she finished school in the spring.

Alaysha graduated from the Health Careers program at Old Colony, a rigorous course that prepares students for a position in the field of allied health care or further postgraduate education in the field of health care. All students enrolled in Health Careers receive instruction in the program requirements for Certified Nursing Assistant. 

For Alaysha, this achievement was the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication, and a desire to help others. We asked Alaysha when she knew that she wanted a career in healthcare and she said: “I’ve known I wanted a career in healthcare since middle school. I’ve had this inspiration in my heart to help people all the time and ever since then I’ve just chased my dream.”

Alaysha also said that her mother’s career contributed to her interest in healthcare: “My mom is actually a nurse as well. She’s been probably my biggest inspiration in life.”

We asked Alaysha if she had any advice for other students considering a career in healthcare: “I would say just definitely for anyone who wants to work in healthcare, just honestly try your hardest, just be who you are, and make sure you study a lot because it does get real!” 

We asked Alaysha about her ultimate goal in her healthcare career, which is lofty indeed. “I was planning on doing a 10-month program to become an LPN and then I’m going to continue school to become a trauma doctor.

Finally, we asked her what she enjoys most about being a CNA. Alaysha thought for a moment and said: “Sometimes it’s those special moments in your life when you just make people smile. It’s kinda hard to explain, making people smile makes me smile more. It’s definitely worth it in the long run.”

The residents and patients at Nemasket must surely be smiling more when Alaysha is working on her shift!

Kelly Valenzuela, Administrator of Nemasket Healthcare Center says: “Alaysha is one of a handful of CNA’s we have been lucky enough to hire through our partnerships with Old Colony and Bristol Plymouth Technical Schools.  It has been a pleasure to watch Alaysha grow both personally and professionally throughout her time here.  These co-op students have become such an essential part of the Nemasket clinical team and allow us to continue to provide quality care to our residents.  We are looking forward to the upcoming school year and the opportunity to welcome new students to Nemasket!