St. Pius X High School students excel in Northland CAPS Program 

St. Pius X High School Senior Mia Cherrito (3rd from left) with her CAPS classmates.

The Northland CAPS program has been providing unique opportunities to high school students throughout the Northland since 2015. This program is a profession based learning approach where students are fully immersed in the business community, treated as professionals and participate in real projects, using industry standard tools with real business partners. Each year, juniors may apply to the program for their senior year. Students accepted into the program attend St. Pius X for half of the day and CAPS for the other half of the day. This year, St. Pius X High School has six seniors enrolled in CAPS.

When applying for the program, students choose a strand specific to a certain field. This year, St. Pius X students are enrolled in medicine and healthcare; physical therapy/athletic training; engineering and advanced manufacturing; and global business and entrepreneurship strands.
During the first semester, students were introduced to different paths in their field of study and visit various companies within their fields. They polished their professional skills and manners, learning how to interview and make a resume or portfolio, as well as interact with business professionals.

In addition, the students received training and first hand experience in their fields. For example, students in the medical strand learned, among other things, how to do vitals signs, “stop the bleed” in a trauma situation, and assess a patient. They visited different departments throughout the hospital and shadowed on various floors.

Students in other strands, such as engineering and entrepreneurship, received projects from companies that they completed during the semester. One student in the engineering strand helped remodel a room at HopeFaith Ministries to assist with distribution of fresh produce from the garden to the homeless. They worked on each detail from the kitchen and workspace to choosing the type of flooring and paint.

Second semester is primarily internship focused. The students have been matched with internships within their field, including: the emergency room at a local hospital, a school nurse, physical therapy practices, an architecture firm, and a commercial real estate company. In the medical fields, they will have hands-on experience as well as observation hours. They will see all sides of the occupation from patient care to filing insurance claims. In other professions, they may be collecting data and research for their company as well as working on projects for customers.

The experiences are valuable, “I learned a tremendous amount about the interconnectivity of businesses and their impact in the community, in addition to countless soft skills that are vital in the workplace. I feel that the largest benefit of this program is an expansive network of contacts and a foot in the door with competitive companies,” commented Gavin Ott who is in the Global Business and Entrepreneurship Strand. Mia Cherrito who is in the Medical Strand adds, “Northland CAPS has taught me many skills that can help me not only in the healthcare, but also in my everyday life. I’ve learned the importance of professionalism and that you have to work really hard in order to succeed. I like having the opportunity of learning hands-on and working in the hospital.”


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September 26, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph