The sight of blood doesn’t make Ashlei Limbaga queasy. The
16-year-old Providence High School junior was a blood donor Tuesday
at the school’s semi-annual American Red Cross blood drive.
“It’s something I’ve never done before,” the Burbank girl said.
“When they explained to us that there’s a shortage, I was interested
in giving blood. It’s not hurting me, but it might save the life of
Providence Principal Sister Lucille Dean was happy to see
students, as well as community members, donate blood.
“I always believe that if we get the students to start when
they’re young, they’ll continue as adults,” she said.
Nurses from Providence St. Joseph Medical Center who worked at
the blood drive were assisted by Providence students in the school’s
Health Careers Focus program.
Christopher Ghazarian, 15, handed out forms at the blood drive,
and said he provided comic relief for people who were uneasy about
“More than half the people haven’t given blood before, so we want
to make them feel more comfortable,” he said.
Christopher hopes to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and
become a pharmacist. But if that plan doesn’t materialize, he said,
dentistry is another option.
Physician Arjan Harjani, the director of the Health Careers Focus
Program, said that many of the students in the program have
aspirations of going into medicine. However, he added the many years
of study and the expense often drive them out of this field.
But Harjani, who keeps a database of former students, said, “About
25% of [former] students are in the process of returning to the
The program at Providence was started in 1989 with two students,
he said. Today it has an enrollment of 90.
“We’ve come a long way,” Harjani said.