A senior at Colonie Central High School is forging a path in the healthcare field after playing a crucial role in caring for her father during his battle with a life-threatening illness.
Abigail Conaway, found her calling in nursing while assisting her father, Michael, who was diagnosed with ALS. Her responsibilities included repositioning him to prevent bed sores, helping with meals, dressing him, and providing overall care. Despite her father’s passing in early 2020, Abigail’s passion for helping others persisted.
“I realized that I like helping people, that helping people gives me purpose,” Conaway said.
Conaway is currently enrolled in the two-year sequence of Health Careers program at the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education Center – Albany Campus. This program equips students with the skills needed to enter the healthcare industry at their preferred level. Students can opt for a one-year program leading to certification as a Home Health Aide (HHA) and Personal Care Aide (PCA), or a separate one-year program for certification as a Nurse Assistant (NA) and PCA. Alternatively, students can take both courses during their junior and senior years.
Looking ahead, Conaway plans to pursue her passion further by entering a registered nursing or radiology program in college.
“Helping people gives me a sense of pride that I can be there for someone in their time of need,” she shared.
Her teacher, Adam Mainville, commended Abigail’s ambition and dedication, stating, “Abigail is a dedicated student who has taken the difficult lessons she learned at home and made it into a positive. She will have a bright future in this noble industry,” he said.