As Salvadoran immigrants, Edis Joya’s parents had high hopes for their children after moving to the United States. Because of this, Edis made the decision to pursue a career in the medical field and fulfill his parents’ dream. As a senior pharmacy student at Singley Academy, he enrolled in the program to gain exposure to different fields of medicine which will be beneficial on his journey to becoming a doctor. 

“Being a pharmacist is important to me because it will allow me to gain experience with patients and an understanding of how pharmaceuticals are distributed before I become a doctor,” he says.

Joya completing a compounding lab.

Singley Academy’s pharmacy program gives students the opportunity to see firsthand what goes into being a pharmacist. Students like Edis get to participate in physical labs that show them how drugs are prepared before distribution and how pharmacists prepare capsules, topical ointments and suppositories for patients. Pharmacy instructor Marcus Mason prepares his students to be knowledgeable of all types of patients – from humans to animals. 

“They must know that the basis of pharmacy in pharmacology is the treatment of the body and how drugs interact within a living system,” Mason says. “These students are getting a crash course in the foundation for most medical professions.” 

Mason is shown instructing Joya during in-person learning.

Being in the program, Edis says he’s learned a lot from Mr. Mason, including medication safety and drug interactions which are very important when working in the medical field. “Giving someone the wrong drug or a higher dosage than what was prescribed could cause severe health problems or death,” he says. 

January 12 is National Pharmacist Day, and to Edis Joya and Marcus Mason, this day has a special meaning. Joya says National Pharmacist Day is a day to pay homage to those who have dedicated their lives to serving others through conventional medicine, Mason credits pharmacists for shaping him into the man he is today. 

“Those on the outside looking in don’t see the stress levels that come with being a pharmacist or pharmacy tech,” says Mason. “But that’s what a good pharmacist or tech does — they keep a smile on their face despite the chaos behind the counter.”

After graduating from Singley Academy, Edis plans to attend North Lake College then transfer to a university after obtaining his associate’s degree. He hopes to continue his journey in medical school. 

Edis is one of my most prominent seniors. I have seen him grow from freshman year to now, and I can’t wait to see what he does in the future,” says Mason.