HOSA goes international

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With over a dozen awards earned at the HOSA International Leadership Conference, chapter advisor Dr. Diana Sood is proud to have had another successful competitive season. (Photo/Ephraim Oyetunji)

As summer began, student competitors in HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) were ready to take the heat all the way to Dallas. 

After a year of taking practice tests and performing simulated healthcare procedures, 51 students from both the Broward and Palm Beach campuses headed to the lone-star state ready to compete at the 46th annual international leadership conference. 

On the first day of arrival, students took the time to explore the city and get to know Dallas. Students visited art installations and local restaurants with “Texas-sized” entrees. (Photo/Ephraim Oyetunji)

While there, competitors got the chance to trade pins with students from other chartered states. Students are allotted five pins from their own state and are encouraged to trade with other states for the “best” pins. Some of the most decorated competitors had pins ranging from Hawaii to Mexico to China. “My favorite pin was the China one,” senior Esther Oyetunji said. “It had a panda in the middle of it with a bunch of swirls and stars around it, which made it super unique. This pin became one of the most sought after at the conference.”

Competitors at the conference also had the chance to attend different meetings where students learned about topics such as leadership and public health. “I went to the leadership meeting and found it really eye-opening,” junior Surina Gadh said. “This past year, I was a regional officer for our local HOSA region and I learned a bunch of helpful tips about how to organize meetings, plan fundraisers more effectively and engage members at meetings.”

Competitors also attended “Six Flags over Texas.” Some spent the day sampling different foods while others explored the park looking for rollercoasters to try out. “I went on a total of nine rides while I was there and in between played carnival games,” junior Calvin Matthew said. “I eventually took home two stuffed animals.”

Juniors Surina Gadh and Jaimee Canalejo rode the day away with seniors Esther Oyetunji, Annika Rui Chen, Amara Okpala and Melodi Fugate at Six Flags. (Photo/Esther Oyetunji)

After their day out at Six Flags, competitors got dressed in black slacks and sharp blazers for the grand awards ceremony. Here are the winners:

CERT Skills

2nd Place: Patricia Duffy (10) and Naomi Tamura (11)

Clinical Laboratory Science

8th Place: Calvin Mathew, 11

9th Place: Amara Okpala, 12

Dental Terminology

2nd Place: Srihith Nooka, Class of 2023

Healthy Lifestyle

1st Place: Emir Sahin, 12


5th Place: Lauren Wong (12), Carla Del Rio (12), Joshua Turner (12) & Iris Fan (11)

Medical Innovation

6th Place: Aarna Baranwal (10) and Ananya Zaverchand (10)

Nursing Assisting

7th Place: Anaga Iyer, 10

Prepared Speaking

1st Place: Esther Oyetunji, 12

Career Development

6th Place: Lauren Wong, 12


8th Place: Rolando Perez, 11

Organic Chemistry

6th Place: Aaden Albury, Class of 2023

10th Place: Asher Lee, Class of 2023

This is Lauren’s second year on the staff. She enjoys playing Papa’s Sushiria, taking naps and writing whatever’s on her mind. She’s excited to make this year the best one yet and have an awesome entertainment section.