WESLEY CHAPEL, FL -- North Tampa Christian Academy welcomed students and families to the new school with a ribbon cutting and tours Tuesday.
- North Tampa Chirstian Academy had their ribbon cutting ceremony today
- Florida Hospital the school's offical health and wellness sponsor
- Students will have oppourtunities to get in depth look at healthcare fields
"I find it really amazing that we get to move around and we're not just staying in one spot," said incoming junior Aric Bartholomew. "That's always been hard for me -- just learning and not moving around."
Administrators at the K-12 school say curriculum will encourage critical thinking and problem solving.
"Working with each individual family, setting up individual plans, creating an environment where people feel like it's a customized experience for their children," said NTCA President Orton Varona.
Florida Hospital is the school's official health and wellness sponsor.
"We have curriculum that we've partnered to develop so that they can learn how to look after themselves and maybe inspire them to one day look after others," said Florida Hospital Tampa CEO Brian Adams.
Adams said in addition to having speakers come to the school to talk about health careers, students will also be able to shadow employees at one of Florida Hospital's ten facilities in the Tampa Bay area.
"There's so many career opportunities in healthcare, and we need to get students interested in those right from the very beginning," said Adams.
The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that by 2030, the U.S. could see a shortage of as many as 120,000 physicians -- something the Tampa area isn't immune to. Adams said Florida Hospital recently helped open a nursing school, and this initiative is meant to show further commitment to developing future healthcare providers.
"It isn't specifically built to create healthcare professionals. It's built to inspire the student to dream about that. Then, through our other partnerships with higher education, we can make that happen," said Varona.
Bartholomew's mother, Tanya Bartholomew, said that exposure to healthcare careers wasn't the main reason her son chose to come here -- but it was a bonus.
"First we started out, 'Mom, I'm gonna be a pharmacist,' and then, now, 'Mom, I'm going to be an eye doctor,'" she said.
"I just want to help people," said Aric Bartholomew.
Classes begin at NTCA next month. Registration is still open.