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The Wyverns Among Us

April, 2020
  • QCC students and alumni working to keep us all safe.
    QCC students and alumni working to keep us all safe.

Each day as we deal and acclimate to the changes that have occurred due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic crisis, many QCC students and alumni are adapting to this “new normal” in ways they might never have thought possible. Present and former students are working around the clock to protect our communities. These are the first responders, respiratory therapists, nurses, mental health workers, social service workers, custodial workers, delivery drivers, grocery store and restaurant workers who are taking care of others and keeping our essential businesses running. Below are some of the amazing Wyvern guardian protectors who each and every day make us proud that we are the Wyverns.

Monica Salazar Carmona is in her second year at QCC, double majoring in Public Health and Business Administration. She also works full-time at the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center as a community health worker and said it is the best job she’s ever had. In her “free time” you might find her delivering essential food to an elderly neighbor or volunteering at Mutual Aid Worcester, an agency that provides referrals and resources for a variety of social services that are even more information in today’s world.  Some of the services they help with include: unemployment, MassHealth, Snap/WIC, transportation, housing, access to food pantries and much more. Thanks for all you do, Monica!

Brittany Casasanta is a 2015 graduate of QCC who is doing double-duty to help those in her community. She works as a respiratory therapist at UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, in addition to working as a healthcare simulation support technician at QCC.

“We are caring for multiple COVID positive patients who are intubated and on mechanical ventilation. Things can change rapidly in the ER and ICU with critically ill patients; you have to be on your toes at all times. You have to be ready to think critically and act by using everything you have learned in school and through experience as an RT,” she said.

Brittany emulates the meaning of a Wyvern. Thank you Brittany!

QCC student Genesis Santos is a front line worker in the healthcare industry, working directly with coronavirus/COVID-19 patients at Harrington Hospital. She is risking her own safety in order to help save the lives of others. She encourages everyone to stay home and be safe. Thanks for showing us the definition of a Wyvern, Genesis!

QCC paramedic student Taylor Belsito, like so many first-responders today, has seen her world turned upside down by the pandemic. Yet, like her fellow first-responders, she has a passion for caring and protecting complete strangers within her community. Today, Ms. Belsito is one of three students in QCC’s paramedic program who are also Career Firefighters/EMTs for Auburn Fire/EMS Department. She is currently working 96-hour rotations, followed by 12-days of self quarantine to help keep those in her department, community, as well as those in her immediate family safe.

"The conclusion of the 12-day quarantine is the start of the next 96- hour rotation.This cycle will continue until the conclusion of the COVID pandemic,” Ms. Belsito said.

The daughter of a former fire chief, Ms. Belsito understands the responsibilities of what it takes to be a first-responder, particularly during a health crisis. On April 3, he said good-bye to her parents and grandfather (who was due to have surgery, but it was put on hold for safety reasons) and will not see them again until the health crisis has passed. Taylor, thank you for showing us the true meaning of a Wyvern!

QCC alumnus Glen Berger works at a medical center, loading and unloading trucks. “My role is not glamorous, but it is vital,” he said.

While there used to be eight people doing this work, the company is now down to three. If he stopped doing his job, no one would get the crucial supplies needed to be able to do their jobs. Glen is one of the many QCC alumni and students who are showing just what it means to take care of their communities in whatever capacity is needed. Thank you, Glen. We’re so proud to call you a Wyvern!

Do you know someone who is helping during this time of great need? We want to know! Please send your photos and stories to Wyvern Guardian newsletter.