04 21 2015
  6:10 am  
40 Years of Service
Dayja Curry

Dayja Curry knows where she’s going in life. The De La Salle North Catholic High School senior plans to be a nurse. It’s a decision she made in 2011 while participating in MIKE Program during her freshman health class.

“At first I thought it would be boring,” said Curry. “But after a few days, I felt different. I liked MIKE Program. I learned about diet, body functions and kidneys.”

Curry discovered the impact of kidney failure during a MIKE Program field trip to a dialysis clinic. “It was seeing those people in a dialysis clinic that made me want to help,” said Curry.

Kidneys are the foundation upon which MIKE Program bases its health program in schools.

With kidney failure disproportionately affecting African Americans more than other populations in the U.S., getting young people to take steps to lessen the risk is vital. In addition to anatomy, nutrition and chronic disease prevention, the MIKE Program guides young people by teaming them with near-age mentors who help them prepare and deliver a health leadership project to the community. Many MIKE Program mentors are college-aged students in health and health care degree programs.

After her initial introduction to a dialysis clinic, Curry was determined to be healthier and help others. “I never heard of a dialysis center before that,” she said. “But seeing those machines and finding out how people have to manage with dialysis, I decided how to eat better and watch myself.” For their leadership project, Curry’s team presented a kidney information poster to the Fresenius Medical Care Rose Quarter Center in Portland.

Now Curry looks at health with a deeper perspective. She said she eats more fruit and exercises regularly, though vegetables will take a bit more work. “If I could teach others, I would emphasize how important kidneys are,” Curry said. “I would show them how food and alcohol affects their bodies.”

Curry’s determination has carried her successfully through her academic life at De La Salle North. As a recipient of the 2014 Family Care Scholarship for academic excellence and community service awarded at The Skanner’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast in January, Curry reflects the emphasis placed on student success at the school.

De La Salle North prepares youth for college who experience challenges economically, socially and academically. The private school accepts families who earn 75 percent or less of Portland’s median income and are on average 1.5 years behind their peers in reading in math. By the time De La Salle North students graduate, 95 percent are accepted into college and already have a work portfolio for interning a day each week during their time at the school. De La Salle North students intern with more than 100 Portland area corporations, institutions and agencies.

During spring break, Curry senior will visit Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans where she plans to study in the fall.

For Curry being a nurse is a way to reinforce what she’s learned. “I want to help people,” said Dayja, who plans to return to Portland after college. “I want to help those in disadvantaged communities. And, I want to give back to where I came from.”

Pacific NW Carpenters Union

Commenting Guidelines

  • Keep it clean: Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language
  • No personal attacks: We reserve the right to remove offensive comments
  • Be truthful: Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything
  • Be nice: No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person
  • Help us: If you see an abusive post, let us know at info@theskanner.com
  • Keep to topic: We will remove irrelevant posts and spam
  • Share with us: We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts; the history behind an article

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
    Read More
  • Some lawmakers, sensing a tipping point, are backing the parents and teachers who complain about 'high stakes' tests   
    Read More
  • Watch Rachel Maddow interview VA Secretary Robert McDonald  
    Read More
  • Some two thousand people pack halls to hear Trayvon Martin's mom speak   
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all


The Skanner Photo Archives

About Us

Breaking News

The Skanner TV

Turn the pages

Portland Opera Showboat 2
The Skanner Photo Archives