CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9) -- When it comes to care, you might say 17-year-old Mercedez Fay has the magic touch.
The Washington High School senior and September KCRG TV9 Student of the Month is learning lessons that start in the classroom and grew into a life experience at the Hiawatha Care Center.
"Just being around nurses here, just kind of learning things as you go, just all the experiences really sets me up for nursing," she said.
As a dietary aid, Mercedez knew she wanted to do more.
So as a junior, she began classes at the Kirkwood High School Academy to become a certified nursing assistant.
It's also how she met Cindy Carpenter and began work at the Hiawatha Care Center.
"When you're talking about personal cares, especially onto another person, I mean we get pretty intimate with our cares," Carpenter said. "A lot of high school students can't process that, with the maturity that she did."
Mercedez knows this is preparing her for her future and gives her a head start when she graduates.
"I plan to start at Kirkwood and start like the nursing program and get my nursing and I don't know what kind of nurse I want to be yet," she said.