Diman Student Among Best And Brightest
By Linda Murphy, Special to The Herald News
Vanessa Valcorba, the class valedictorian at Diman Regional Vocational Technical School, has ranked as number one in her class for all four years and credits her success to her parents, Dinis and Sandra Valcorba of Fall River and her "wonderful teachers" at Diman.
The dynamic young woman is also played on the basketball and volleyball teams for all four years and this year, she's the captain of the Diman Varsity Basketball and Volleyball teams. "My days are definitely busy and hectic - it takes a lot of time management skills but I don't commit to something unless I can give it 100 percent," she said.
A student in the Health Assisting Program, Valcorba has been accepted into the Nursing Program at the University of Dartmouth, where she'll begin her career plans to become a nurse. Valcorba said she became interested in nursing after seeing how well nurses treated her grandfather when he became ill with cancer. "I have a real passion for nursing and caring for people," she said. "I think a lot of people enter the field just for the sake of it, not because they're passionate about it."
Her schoolwork at Diman has already provided her with a head start in the field with certifications in CPR and first aid and certification as a nurse's assistant and direct support professional, which allows here to work at any mental health facility in the state.
In addition to working part-time at Dunkin' Donuts, she also works at People Incorporated as a paraprofessional assisting clients with developmental goals and developing fine motor skills. "I really enjoy it - it's very rewarding," she said.
Valcorba said she's taken all honors classes for the past four years; her favorites are anatomy and physiology because they're directly related to nursing. Her school activities include the school yearbook, student government, School Improvement Council, the International Club and Skills USA, for which she was awarded the Skills USA gold and silver state medasl and a silver national medal. She was awarded as Outstanding Vocational Student for the Health Assisting program and was a nominee for the Dave Cowen's award for Most Outstanding Player.
Her community activities include participating in the St. Anne's Hospital "Get Moving" walk and the Relay for Life as well as volunteering at the Charlton Memorial Hospital gift shop and the Fall River Youth Court, where she serves as a volunteer lawyer for juvenile misdemeanor cases.
In submitting his nomination for Valcorba, Diman Principal Brian S. Bentley included a quote from anatomy and physiology instructor Gisele Parent that said, " Vanessa became interested in nursing after her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and she witnessed how caring the nurses were to him. She was in middle school and knew she wanted to attend Diman to enter the Health Assisting Program to fulfill her goal of becoming a nurse. In her clinical experiences, she has been able to help patients and gets a great reward from knowing that they appreciate it so much. Although she enjoys gerontology, she is looking forward to exploring all options in the nursing field when she enters the Nursing Program at UMass Dartmouth.
"Vanessa has been a very devoted student here at Diman. I've had the pleasure of having her a student for science for all of her four years. She is driven, dedicated, helpful, and resourceful. Once she commits to a task, she will follow up until completed. She has found a balance with schoolwork, activities and work. This balance will help her be successful."