Mia Herrera, 18, of Albuquerque, N.M., a senior at Bosque School, responds to medical and trauma calls as a certified medic with her school’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program, teaches other students how to be emergency medical technicians, coordinates community volunteer opportunities for other MRC members, and raised money for the MRC program by selling a self-published poetry book. Mia had been interested in the MRC program from the time she was in middle school, but an incident her freshman year convinced her she had to get involved. “My mom fell off a chair right in front of me and hit her head on concrete,” she explained. “I didn’t know how to help my mom before the EMS arrived. After this incident, I never wanted to feel helpless again.”
She took a comprehensive first responders course, passed a national exam, obtained a license and joined her school’s student-run MRC program. Over the past two years, she has tended many times to fellow students who needed medical attention, doing things like checking vital signs, cleaning cuts, administering asthma medications and testing for concussions. When she became MRC co-president last year, Mia began creating and teaching EMT lesson plans at biweekly meetings attended by approximately 30 students and arranging for fellow MRC members to volunteer at community events such as health care fairs, first-aid courses and roller derby competitions. In addition, Mia has donated to MRC hundreds of dollars earned from the sale of her recently published book of poetry. She had first posted her poems – a different one each day for a whole year – on her Instagram page in place of her own photos, in hopes of inspiring other young people to change the way they use social media.