Many thanks to members of the senior anatomy class at “DECA,” the Dayton Early College Academy for making a pre-holiday break visit to donate at the Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the Dayton CBC Donor Center.
Teacher Rachel Dearden and STEM Director Tracy Martz organized the visit for about 20 students, most of them seniors. When the anatomy class made their last visit in 2017 from their home on the University of Dayton campus to the Dayton CBC, all were first-time donors.
DECA hosted a CBC Bloodmobile blood drive last April and have another scheduled for next spring. The seniors see it as a chance to chalk up the three registrations to donate needed to qualify for the CBC Red Cord Honor Program.
“This year I brought back my senior anatomy students,” said Tracy. “They can get one in and have two or three done.”
However, the very first student to clear screening successfully and make it to the donor room was first-time donor Terra Patrick. She was inspired by her parents, who are recent college graduates. “It’s something my parents did last year when they both graduated,” said Terra.
Following close behind Terra was Jezene Stephens, another first-time donor. “I’m pretty nervous, I don’t like needles,” admitted Jezene. Soon they were both posing for pictures with their teacher Rachel Dearden who is a long-time donor.
“What got me motivated is we know about the holidays, that it’s a busy time and you don’t have as many donors,” said Rachel. “We have students who would like to get the Red Cord. We thought, why not do a class blood drive when it’s needed and start working on the Red Cord for graduation.”
Rachel said donations now, followed by donations at their blood drive in April could mean a blossoming of Red Cords for DECA seniors. She calls it an important gift at holiday time that could become a gift that keeps on giving.
“It’s good to get our kids involved early on,” she said, “and hopefully it becomes a lifelong dedication.”
The DECA visit boosted the Dayton Donor Center to 44 total donors for the day and 29 donations including eight first-time donors.
DECA began in 2003 as a partnership between Dayton Public Schools and the University of Dayton as Ohio’s first early college high school. It has grown into a network of charter schools that include DECA PREP, DECA Middle School and DECA High. In 2017 DECA was honored with the Ohio School Innovation Award.