Butler Tech remains the regional leader in high school blood drives after winning the Community Blood Center Leadership Grant for “Most Donors” three years in a row. But Wednesday, Oct. 21 marked the first blood drive in Butler Tech’s bright new Bioscience Center, and health career students made sure to give it a bustling welcome.
A total of 119 students registered to donate, including 68 first-time donors. The result was 90 blood donations for 107 percent of the collection goal.
“I think it’s because we’re all in the health field and we want to help out,” said senior Health Technology student Alexis Afriyie, who made her 4th lifetime donation Wednesday. “It’s our profession, we’re here a lot,” agreed Health Tech senior Katelynn Helton. “It’s what we want to do – help people.”
On Wednesday CBC presented a $1,000 check to Butler Tech for winning the CBC High School Leadership grant for “Most Donors” for the 2014-2015 academic year. Butler Tech is CBC’s most active high school blood drive sponsor with six blood drives a year.
The Leadership Grant recognizes the success of the annual blood drives in the main campus building. But Butler Tech also sponsors blood drives at its School of the Arts, Natural Science Center, and now the Bioscience Center campus. The health career students who traditionally supported the main campus blood drives have now moved to the Bioscience Center.
“In this facility, one way or another, it’s related to health,” said faculty member and blood drive Coordinator Laura Eby. “The push here is to serve the community. Knowing they’re in the health field, they feel a great responsibility to do this. It’s part of their upbringing, that sense of obligation to the community.”
Though health students have migrated to the Bioscience Center, there has been no decline in blood drive support at the main campus. The Oct. 7 blood drive there registered 81 students with 38 first-time donors and 64 donations. “It’s been led by students interested in public safety and health, but everyone has the opportunity to donate,” said Eby
The students love their new home at the Bioscience Center. At Wednesday’s blood drive they moved from check-in, to registration, to screening along open corridors overlooking the lobby. Each student carried laptops, issued at enrollment, and utilized constantly to check schedules, assignments, and do testing.
Away from the bustling hallways was the sky high “nest” of the Donor Room, featuring ceiling-to-floor windows on two sides. As students donated they gazed out at a view of West Chester that goes on for miles.
“Academics are so much better here for everyone,” said junior Lillian Kellum, who made her first lifetime donation Wednesday. “Everything is so hands-on. It’s set up like a college. I’m doing so much better here. My grades have never been better.”
Fellow junior Sidney Croucher said, “It’s a lot more individualized. Your schedule is so flexible – you have to know where you’re going each day.”
Lillian credited advantages like the “huddle rooms” where students can meet one-on-one with teachers or in small groups for tutoring and extra attention.
It’s a curriculum that also made Lillian feel right at home when it came time to donate. “I’ve had blood drawn before,” she said. “It’s just a pinch. I don’t care, so I’m not scared.”