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SPS United: Meet Layla Morton, eighth-grader at Health Sciences Academy

Nov. 15, 2023


“I did not actually know what Health Sciences Academy was. My little sister is in AgAcademy, and I think while looking at AgAcademy, my mom stumbled across Health Sciences Academy @ Mercy and thought I would like it. I was placed on the waitlist, and I was super excited when I found out I could be here at HSA.

Two weeks before our first day of school, we had orientation and had an orientation meeting. It was a whole new world for me to see all these differences. We all came from different parts of SPS and have all sorts of different experiences and learning styles, but all of us were ready and excited to learn at Health Sciences Academy. That was exciting to me; I knew this would be different.

I attended Carver, and that was a good, regular middle school experience. The Health Sciences Academy is totally different. There is only a small group of us, so we’re a close unit and get along. That makes it easier for us to focus on learning. We all learn at different paces, but it’s also so much fun what we get to learn. In the first quarter, we went down to the basement of the hospital and saw them repair hospital beds. We met patients who were undergoing radiation. We did a lot of nursing training, learning some of the training exercises that nurses have to go through. We learned hospital codes: black, green, yellow and red. Yesterday we did CPR training. We learned how to use AEDs and some first aid.

HSA is like any middle school, but everything has a health science element behind it. Instead of just an English book, it’s an English book with a health science component. We learn vocabulary and medical vocabulary, too. All of it has some time in health sciences, which I love. I want to do forensic sciences when I get older. 

HSA is a different middle school, but we also spend the end of our day at Pershing. I’m a cheerleader there and I play the electric fiddle in the orchestra. I’m a Pershing student and a HSA student, and I can do both.

I’m excited to keep learning.”