Gracie Pinto ’25: Pursuing passion

In this profile, we learn more about how Gracie trained to become a certified EMT.
Gracie sits with friends on the floor of Freedom Valley Medical Institute after a long day of learning about intensive patient care in response to trauma.
Gracie sits with friends on the floor of Freedom Valley Medical Institute after a long day of learning about intensive patient care in response to trauma.
Megan Pinto

Most high school sophomores spend their summers soaking in the sun, working part time jobs, and relaxing from the stress of the school year. Gracie Pinto ‘25, however, took a different approach last summer when she decided to enroll for a EMT certification course. The course ran from the first week of June all the way to mid-August, taking up the entirety of her summer. Gracie was unfazed, however, determined to accomplish something during her time off.

Gracie and her friends enjoy Chick-fil-A after a long day of practice exams.

Following her high school career, Gracie hopes to major in biology on the pre-med track, and eventually become a surgeon. The experience, which took place at Freedom Valley Medical Institute, gave her professional, hands-on medical training. The classes ran everyday of the week, Monday to Sunday, with Wednesday and Thursday classes being in person from 8-4. In person, Gracie got the chance to practice her hands-on skills, like CPR and full trauma assessments. She practiced psychomotor exams (testing her full knowledge of practical abilities) and really valued her time learning from certified professionals. The rest of the week was spent online, learning through Freedom Valley’s intensive program involving the overall knowledge of body systems and patient care. 

“I really admire Gracie as a person for her hard work and dedication to pursuing something she’s passionate about,” said Molly Cherico ‘25.

In addition to furthering her knowledge in preparation for college, Gracie was inspired by her mom, as she took part in the course when she was Gracie’s age. 

“My mom did it when she was younger and she loved it, so I’ve always wanted to be a part of it as well,” Gracie said. “The minimum age was 16 and I was super excited to be able to enroll at the end of my sophomore year.” 

In order to participate in the program, students must meet various requirements and qualifications. They must be determined and passionate about the medical field and what is expected of them, as the course is not a cake walk. 

Gracie proudly holds up her certificate after completing the summer course.

“I went into it thinking it was going to be somewhat of a breeze, but I was surprised by how much hard work was required. It was a lot of work and got stressful at times, but overall it was such a great experience,” Gracie said. “The instructors are super supportive and offer the right amount of pressure to enforce the techniques being taught. All they wanted was for us to be successful.”

At the end of the program, Gracie left with an NR EMT certification, which means she is certified in basic life support and can volunteer on an ambulance. In addition to walking away with a certification that most teenagers do not have, she gained valuable experience and a group of fellow peers just as ambitious as her.

“My favorite part was definitely meeting new people who I became quick friends with, as well as getting to immerse myself into the medical field more than the average teenager,” said Gracie. “I would highly recommend this program to anyone with a passion for the medical field, as well as to anyone who is looking for an intensive course this summer! I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything in the world.”

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    Fiona donnellyMay 2, 2024 at 10:12 am

    This is so cool!!! Go gracie and sienna!