Superintendent’s Spotlight: Ariana Elias

Warwick. This senior is looking to have a career in nursing when she gets older.

| 07 Jun 2024 | 01:01

There is an inner drive in Ariana Elias that has been nurtured by her parents and grandmother through the years. The Warwick Valley High School senior has a passion for caring for people, which is steering her future education and career path. She’ll be attending Louisiana State University in the fall to begin her pursuit of a Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing and eventually become a labor and delivery or neonatal intensive care unit nurse.

Elias has been a volunteer at Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital since 2018. She was recently recognized by Hudson Valley Magazine with its 17th annual nursing scholarship, a $1,500 one-time award given to a local high school senior pursuing a career in nursing. She received the honor during the magazine’s annual Excellence in Nursing awards dinner, a tribute to the area’s top nurses and nursing administrators.

Elias’s mother is a nurse and her father is an emergency medical technician, so Elias’s exposure to the healthcare field positioned her to hear the call to help people at an early age. When growing up, there were times her parents’ work shifts wouldn’t align just right. Elias would need to spend time waiting at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern where her mom worked as a labor and delivery nurse for her father to pick her up. Or she would spend time with her father learning about her father’s work while at Rockland Paramedics.

“I’ve always been surrounded by the medical field,” Elias said. “They would let us into the ambulance and let us look at the tools and show us things ever since I was little, so I was always kind of surrounded by it.”

“I really feel like it was from watching my mom and my dad selflessly helping people,” she said. “There have been times where random strangers have gotten into car accidents and we’ve stopped and I’ve watched my parents help them and wait for help to come, as well as growing up with my grandmother, who unfortunately passed a few months ago.”

As she grew older, the family began caring for her grandmother who had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at their home since 2021 and she passed away in February.

“We had been taking care of her, so that definitely is part of my drive as well. I may want to go into a different field of nursing but I definitely want to help people,” she said. “It just brings joy to my heart. It really does.”

She is also a member of the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society and has been a varsity cheerleader for three years.

Elias has also been a cosmetology student at WVHS. The two-year Career & Technical Education elective program provides in-house instruction in areas like cosmetology, criminal justice, cyber security, video production, green technology, and more.

“I feel like you should never just settle on one thing. If you have multiple creative branches, I feel like you should reach out and do all of them because in the long run it could benefit you. For me, I love making people feel good and feel beautiful as well.”

She plans to become licensed in cosmetology in New York and utilize those skills during the summers at home and possibly with friends at school.