YUKON – Hannah Bicknell is writing courtesy letters to her local legislators ahead of a planned visit to the State Capitol this month.
Bicknell, 19, a senior at Mustang High School and is enrolled in Health Careers at Canadian Valley Technology Center. She said she is excited to engage with lawmakers.
“We’re doing this to get more familiar with our legislators since it seems like the media often portrays them with negatively,” she said.
Bicknell has already voted in one election. She subscribes to the idea that a representative government should hear regularly from its constituents.
“I see it also as a time for legislators to talk to their voters and to get their views,” she said. “Since I know I am going to be a health care professional, I also want to know the bills and the issues affecting my chosen career.”
Bicknell has earned a long-term care nurse aide certification at CV Tech and is currently working on certification as an Advanced Unlicensed Assistant (AUA). That would permit her to work in a medical facility administering diagnostic testing, providing wound care and maintaining airway management for patients.
It is another step in her overall career plan.
“I’m going to hopefully work this summer as an AUA and is planning on continuing at Canadian Valley with Practical Nursing,” she said. “Then I can work as an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) while I am going to college to work on my RN (Registered Nurse),” she said.
CV Tech students will be joined by students from across Oklahoma on Feb. 21 for Health Careers Day at the State Capitol.
Bicknell said she is most excited to visit Rep. Rhonda Baker, who was her eighth-grade teacher. She said freshman Rep. Jay Steagall is another legislator to whom she is writing. Steagall was unable to campaign during last year’s primary election – which he won – because he is a major with the U.S. Air Force Reserves and was deployed on an overseas mission.
Health Careers instructor Angie Siegrist said she loves encouraging students to engage in conversations with their elected officials.
“The walls come down the next time our students consider communicating with the folks at 23rd and Lincoln,” Siegrist said. “Most of our students have told me they want to talk to their legislators about medical marijuana,. Others are curious about immunizations or the elderly in long-term facilities.”
Bicknell is one of several dozen area high school students who are enrolled in either CV Tech’s Health Careers and Biomedical Sciences programs at the Dr. Earl Cowan Campus, located at SW 15 & Czech Hall Road, near Yukon.