Jayla Hellm’s first dream was to follow in the footsteps of her mother as a nurse. She admired her mother’s compassion for others and wanted that same legacy.

The desire to become a nurse faded as she got older and realized her uneasiness around blood. Her career path became much clearer when she enrolled in Singley Academy’s physical therapy program, a career and technical education pathway within the academy’s School of Health Sciences. Hellm spent her first few years in the books, learning the foundations of physical therapy (PT). 

Thanks to her experience at Singley, Hellm, now a high school senior, is putting that knowledge into practice as an intern at Green Oaks Physical Therapy in Fort Worth. 

“Singley, especially Ms. [Sydney] Churchill, really helped me get this internship. She taught us how to go in for an interview, what questions to prepare for and how to craft emails to potential employers,” Hellm says. “Singley is really helping prepare me for the real world.”

This internship has taken Hellm’s skills and knowledge to the next level. As an assistant, Hellm gets to know patients and works with modalities – a piece of medical equipment she’s familiar with from her experience at Singley. She also cuts out electro nodes and does just about anything else the PT practice needs.

Once Hellm graduates with her diploma in hand from Singley Academy, she’ll begin her college career – starting at a community college and then transferring to a four-year university, where she’ll major in kinesiology. Her ultimate goal is to become a sports therapist, which comes from her love of sports. 

Churchill, one of Singley Academy’s health science teachers, is very proud of Hellm and all she has accomplished in her four years. 

“Jayla has been a fantastic student for me over the past two years,” Churchill says. “She has shown a lot of improvement in her self confidence, and I’m very proud of her for taking the opportunity to do an internship at a physical therapy clinic in her senior year.”

Students just like Jayla are afforded these opportunities through the district’s Signature Studies, a career and technical education (CTE) initiative focused on preparing students for college, career and life. For families wanting to know more about CTE, including internships, visit IrvingISD.net/SignatureStudies.