Niwot senior Natasha Ragland recently completed a course in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training at nearby Front Range Community College, and while it didn’t change her future plans to become a doctor, she said it was life-changing experience nevertheless.
“I took a lot away from the class. It was a lot of work and sometimes the work was very challenging, especially knowing what the emergency medical services deal with. And, it kind of gave me a new perspective on life.”
Ragland first became interested in pursuing a career in medicine after a family member underwent prolonged treatment for a complicated condition. The treatment was eventually successful, and Ragland said she was inspired by the hard work and professionalism of the medical team during the months-long ordeal.
“The hospital just kind of grew on me, I guess.”
Ragland is now eligible to sit for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) examination. If she passes that, she can apply for state certification, making her eligible to work as an EMT.
Before that, Ragland still has some high school to finish. She is currently in her senior year at Niwot, but unlike many of her peers, she isn’t waiting to find out what she will be doing next year. She took care of that before the holidays with early decision from Boston University, where she is enrolled in their pre-med program starting next fall. She said she hasn’t considered a specialty yet, but has always leaned toward surgery.
Ragland also will be wrapping up her high school lacrosse career this spring, though it will be as a manager and not a player, due to an injury. For the past three years, she has played midfielder for the team at Centaurus since there isn’t a lacrosse program in the St. Vrain Valley School District. For this season, that team has relocated to Fairview, a transition that has been rocky at times, Ragland acknowledged.
“There’s been a complete revamp of our coaching staff,” she said. “New coaches, new school, new fields, lots of changes. But the coaching staff is very friendly, and I think a lot of the girls are very excited and the changes are very much welcome.”
Ragland is one of six Niwot students who play for the BVSD team. Ragland said the increasing popularity of lacrosse in Colorado should bring a team to the district eventually.
“In the 14 or 15 years I’ve been playing, it’s been incredible to watch as the sport grows and progresses.”
As her senior year enters the last few months, Ragland is also enjoying her stint as president of the Niwot ski club, which gets her onto the slopes multiple days per week. She has also enjoyed seeing her mother Karen’s continued success in her role as Niwot’s representative to the SVVSD school board
“It’s fantastic,” Ragland said. “She’s an incredibly hard working woman. She’s just over the moon and seems to enjoy so much what she’s doing. It’s really inspired me in my education to take it a step further and go the extra mile because of everything that our teachers, staff members, principals, and administration do every day. It gets looked over, but they do a tremendous amount of work for us.”