Conant HOSA attends first state competition
Over 30 Conant Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) members attended their first state competition from Wednesday, March 4 to Friday, March 6 in Decatur, IL. Conant brought home eight national qualifiers and 16 additional medalists–an unexpected feat for Conant, as this was their first State Competition.
HOSA is very similar to BPA in that there are multiple events centered around medical professions (BPA is for business) that students can compete in, and has a regional, state, and national competition.
Varoon Kumar, a junior, came in second in his prepared speech event. Kumar said that he was confident in his speaking abilities and felt that he would do relatively well. He also said that “it was a really exciting moment to know that in our first year in HOSA, not just myself but the whole program, did unbelievably well. It’s promising for the years to come.” Kumar plans to attend nationals since going to Anaheim is “an opportunity that cannot be missed.”
HOSA nationals is going to be held in Anaheim, California from Wednesday, June 24 to Friday, June 26. Since school is not in session, a teacher sponsor will not be attending; instead, students will be expected to provide their own accommodations with their parents, and cover the cost of attendance.
Dhvanii Raval, a freshman, took second with her Biomedical Debate team with freshman Aditi Katwala and Junior Paritosh Joshi, and third in her individual event Prepared Speaking. She competed in two events and qualified for both. Raval said, “I was very excited when I won both awards and qualified for nationals considering I’m only a freshman. I’m so glad that my hard work paid off, and it was quite exciting to be recognized in front of all my peers and competitors.” Raval does plan on attending nationals since it will “be a very good learning and competitive experience” for her.
Katwala said, “It was really awesome when we found out that we got second in state.” She mentioned that she does want to attend nationals, but her team will decide after looking at costs and additional factors.
Joshi said that he felt shocked because his team felt that they were behind other schools considering their preparation and practice, but was proud when they were called for their event.
Kishan Patel, a senior, was a state finalist in both of his events: Dental Terminology and HOSA Bowl. To prepare for his events, he used the resource books that HOSA specified. Patel said, “The HOSA experience was very memorable and informative. When we weren’t competing in our events, there were symposiums that HOSA members attended to gain deeper insights into the medical field.”
Patel continued, “Without the support of our advisers, Mr. Hauser and Mrs. McCoy, it would have been impossible for us to perform as successfully as we did. Not only did they help affiliate HOSA with our school, they guided us very well at state in a situation they were unaccustomed to. They made sure we knew when and where our events were, helped us prepare for our events, and were alongside us the whole time.”
Patel also mentioned, “Many of my Bartlett friends were impressed with how many times they heard Conant members recognized for awards, especially since we lacked the experience that most other schools had.”
Shreenath Patel, a junior, came in first for her individual event, Job Seeking Skills (get interviewed for a job, supply a resume and cover letter), and second in her team event with junior Allie Gade, Health Career Display (make a poster and present it about a health career).
In regards to her winning first and second in both of her events, Patel said, “I was ecstatic! I didn’t know what to expect from the competition but walked into my events with confidence and poise and it ended up paying off. It felt so rewarding to showcase Conant!” Patel mentioned that she may attend nationals for her individual event.
Gade said that she was “shocked but very happy that all the hard work paid off in the end.” She mentioned, “It was even better that I got to experience it with my best friend Shreena.” Gade said that she’d love to go to nationals but most likely won’t be attending due to other obligations.
Jessica Maybrun, a junior, placed top ten at state for her Health Careers Display team event with fellow junior Katelynn Goron. Maybrun said, “It was honestly the greatest feeling I’ve ever experienced. All of us couldn’t even speak [while] waiting to go on stage. It all happened way too fast.” She said that she hopes to attend nationals next year if she does qualify.
Click through the gallery above to see this year’s HOSA state competition.