2022 Copperas Cove graduate’s certification lands first job with $33K annual salary
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to the Leader-Press
Copperas Cove High School 2022 graduate Jiya Edwards has landed her first job since high school. Not only is she working in the healthcare field, which is her ultimate career goal, but she is also able to earn a full-time annual salary of more than $33,000.
Edwards is using her certification as a pharmacy technician that she earned while attending Copperas Cove High School to work at CVS, a national drugstore chain, just 12 minutes away from the University of Texas where she is majoring in Health and Society to become a physician assistant or pharmacist.
“The reason why I am so comfortable with filling prescriptions is because of the externship I did while in high school. It gave me experience before I graduated and began to work. The externship allowed me to be more knowledgeable to pass the certification test. Copperas Cove High School prepared me very well,” Edwards said. “High school played a big role because of the relationships I created with my educators. Our teachers never expected us to be perfect, but I have learned when you show interest in being successful and trust those around you, they will lead you in the right direction.”
Edwards specifically credits CCHS Health Sciences Teacher Jeni Carbone-Williams with contributing to her well-paying job in the health care field straight out of high school.
“The pharmacy class was a pilot class for her, and quite frankly I was not going to take the class unless she was teaching it. When you show interest in her knowledge and instill trust, she will take you under her wing and you will be successful in her class,” Edwards said. “She has done so much in healthcare field and still continues to stay in school to feed her brain, and then pass it on to her students.
“She pays attention to her students’ learning preferences so they can enjoy the class but still retain what she teaches. There were some days where I was not mentally there, but she trusted me enough to allow me to take much needed breaks as the learning material is very heavy,” Edwards said. “She is someone I want to stay in contact with, come to my college graduation, and see me grow because she created the foundation for my career success in healthcare.”
Copperas Cove High School offers more than 30 certifications in various career fields with several in the health care field as well as advanced degrees through the Early College High School Program, Texas University On-Ramps Program, dual-credit, and advance placement courses.