Galena students capture honors at HOSA convention

Galena students at the HOSA convention.

Photo courtesy Stephanie Weter

Galena students at the HOSA convention.

By MELISSA KOST, staff writer

Three students took top honors at the state Health Occupations Student Association conference in March.

Danyal Harvey placed second in Extemporaneous Writing. Kameron Reitan placed fourth in Prepared Speaking. Angelica Firmin placed fourth in behavioral health and fifth in nutrition.

“I am always surprised at how well our students do at HOSA,” wrote Stephanie Weter, the health sciences teacher in Galena.

This year, Danyal, Angelica and Kameron would all have the opportunity to complete at nationals, if funding is available. Nationals are in Nashville, Tenn., this year.

Being a member of Galena’s HOSA involves attending monthly meetings, as well as individual study/competitive even preparation. Students may also work with Mrs. Weter to practice scenarios for the CPR/First Aid competition, mock interviews for job seeking skills competition, and speech preparation for that competition.

Students are allowed to sign up for up to three events to compete in during the annual COTSO/HOSA conference in March. Students get to individually choose which of the HOSA events they would like to sign up for.

Participating in HOSA helps increase a student’s knowledge about health science, what it means to be professional, and how it provides students with job seeking skills, she wrote.

While at the conference, students are expected to dress “business professional.” There are fairly strict dress guidelines for conference participants. Professional dress helps student feel more confident about themselves, as well as shows them what it takes to dress professionally and to be interviewed.

HOSA is a nationwide organization. Students can compete at the state event. If a student places in the top three at state, they are guaranteed a spot at nationals. However, not all students choose to attend nationals (as it is costly and individual HOSA chapters have to pay to attend it) and so any student that places in the top five for an event has a good chance at receiving the opportunity to compete at nationals (the State of Alaska can advance three competitors for each event to the national competition), wrote Ms. Weter.