HOSA makes history at state competition

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At the Marriott Orlando World Center, 113 students competed at the Florida HOSA State Leadership Conference April 3-7. 

After competing at the regional level, the top three regional students in each event qualified for the state competition. Since then, they have practiced at least once a week after school, completing practice tests, presenting their projects, performing educational skits and carrying out simulated medical practicals.

On the first day, students drove up to Orlando and grabbed a late night dinner at Disney Springs. The next day was game time. Most students spent the day studying and practicing their events throughout the lobby, in their rooms and even by the pool. Students with first round testing took their tests that night and woke up the next morning to see if they qualified for the second round.

At the Recognition Ceremony on day two, students received medals for their Barbara James Service—a recognition event dedicated to awarding those who served their health communities. The Sunrise region (to which the American Heritage Broward HOSA belongs) won the recognition event Penny Wars by raising $1,200 for the National Marrow Donor Program—HOSA’s national service project. Penny Wars is a competitive event between regions in which they raise money by collecting pennies in the region’s jar. They can use other coins or even dollars to take away money from other regions’ jars—lowering their total in the game.

 Finally, senior Lauren Wong was elected State Southern Vice President, Secondary after completing an application two months prior, passing an examination at the conference and giving multiple speeches to Voting Delegates at the conference. She will be serving Florida HOSA in the 2024-2025 competitive year during her freshman year of college.

On the third day, everyone competed. Health Science competitors completed their paper tests, Health Professions and Emergency Preparedness competitors completed their practicals, Leadership competitors gave presentations and Teamwork competitors completed various tasks from solving a forensic case all the way to buzzing in to answer medical-related trivia.

Then came the moment of truth on the last day: Grand Awards Ceremony. Below are a list of winners:

Cultural Diversities & Disparities: 

1st Place – Isabel Duffy,  10

Health Informatics: 

3rd Place – Sahir Hai, 11

4th Place – Matthew Wang, 11

Medical Math: 

5th Place – Romir Mohan, 12

Medical Spelling: 

2nd Place – Addison Esler, 10

4th Place – Rolando Perez, 11


1st Place – Yevanhelina Porokhniava-Hetman, 10

3rd Place – Ruby Cohen, 10


5th Place – Rachel Kludy, 12


2nd Place – Malcolm Owusu, 12 

4th Place – Jacob Federici, 12

Clinical Lab Science:

2nd Place – Amara Okpala, 12

4th Place – Shrika Kantipudi, 12

Clinical Nursing:

3rd Place – Alexandra Greenberg, 9

Clinical Specialty:

3rd Place – Alfred Jino, 10

Medical Assisting:

2nd Place – Alexis Negroni, 11

5th Place – Arissa Khan, 11

Pharmacy Science:

5th Place – Shania Srivastav, 10

Respiratory Therapy:

2nd Place – Aryav Thakur, 9

4th Place – Christian Baltar, 9

Veterinary Science:

1st Place – Jordan Smith, 10


1st Place – Patricia Duffy, 10  & Naomi Tamura, 11

2nd Place – Noah-Duro Andre, 10 & Elizabeth Cook, 10


3rd Place – Jaimee Canalejo, 11 & Samantha Almonte, 11

Extemporaneous Writing & Speaking – Health Policy:

2nd Place – Anya pinto, 12

Health Career Photography:

3rd Place – Armaan Fateh-Patil, 10

Prepared Speaking:

2nd Place – Esther Oyetunji, 12

3rd Place – Anagha Iyer, 10

4th Place – Sanya Ahmed, 9

Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking:

5th Place – Winnie Zhang, 9

Research Poster:

4th Place – Melodi Fugate, 12

Biomedical Debate:

3rd Place – Isha Patel (11), Max Friedman (11), Alexis Lofton (12)

Health Education:

2nd Place – Hamid Moghaddam-Adames (10), Sam Danzig (10), Gabriel Gavrilescu (10)

4th Place – Noor Dalal (9), Brianne Pierre (10), Mariel Dorismond (12), Chidini Okpala (9)

HOSA Bowl:

1st Place – Surina Gadh (11), Gabriella Passaro (11), Joshua Turner (12), Lauren Wong (12)

4th Place – Gabriel Restrepo (11), Kangana Modi (11), Carla Del Rio (12), Daniela Zaghlul Schillaci (12)

Medical Innovation:

1st Place – Ananya Zaverchand, 10 & Aarna Baranwal, 10

2nd Place – Lorenzo Pulmano (12), Umair Baig (12), Jessica Zighelboim (12), Gia Mittal (9)

Senior Esther Oyetunji went out to dinner with juniors Surina Gadh, Naomi Tamura, Samantha Almonte, Jaimee Canalejo, Gabriel Restrepo, Jeeya Patel and Arissa Khan at Disney Springs. “Since I’ll be leaving for college soon, I want to make sure to cherish every moment I get with some of my favorite underclassmen,” Oyetunji said.

Sophomores Shriya Narasimhan, Addison Esler, Jordan Smith and Anneliese Hsiao study for each of their events in the main lobby while snacking. The rest of the lobby was also swarmed with HOSA competitors practicing their presentations and reading their study materials. (Photo/Lauren Wong)

Moments before stepping into round two of their competition, one of the HOSA Bowl teams including juniors Gabriela Passaro and Surina Gadh along with seniors Joshua Turner and Lauren Wong snapped a quick picture to reminisce on their positive attitudes leading up to competition. The team emerged victorious winning 10-to-5 in their final round. (Photo/Lauren Wong)

On stage, students received their medals and ribbons and stood on platforms according to their ranking. Sophomore Jordan Smith received first place in Veterinary Science after completing a paper test and a simulated medical practical. (Photo/Rebecca De Leon)

At each of the ceremonies, the Sunrise region lit up the room with flexible light-up sticks. “After the recognition ceremony, I connected multiple light-up sticks and created a jump rope with it,” senior Carla Del Rio said. “I was able to do 33 jumps with it.” (Photo/Lauren Wong)

Once the Grand Awards Ceremony was adjourned, the entire HOSA team celebrated their victories near the stage. With 58 winners and 39 international qualifiers, they are hoping to make an even bigger splash at Internationals,  June 26-29 in Houston, Texas. (Photo/Rebecca De Leon)

After they had been officially sworn into office, the new State team including senior Lauren Wong grabbed ice cream to discuss the upcoming competitive season. The next day, the officers met with the state advisor early in the morning to go over meeting dates, travel plans and officer responsibilities. (Photo/Rebecca De Leon)

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.