Student Voice: My HOSA Experience by Monique Shuford, Carver Academy of Health Sciences

At the beginning of the school year, Academy Coordinator Kristie Williams made it her priority to reinstate a HOSA Chapter at Carver High School, one that had been dormant for at least four years. With the support of Ed and their teachers, 10 students competed at the Regional Competition in Montgomery in February and brought home two third-place titles. Hear about the experience from the perspective of one of the winners below. 

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Monique, at left, poses with her fellow HOSA competitors on competition day. Moriah Craig, second from right, won third place in the job seeking skills category.

As soon as I officially became a HOSA member and was selected to participate in the writing competition I immediately went to work on honing my writing skills. I had been told that writing was one of my strengths and so, to prepare, I continued to learn about writing from my English teacher, Ms. Dorset. We were working on argumentative essays and rhetorical analysis essays at the time, so I paid close attention to the new techniques and new ways of writing and thinking that she shared with us.

I also opened up my mind to more possibilities of how something could be handled or read. I increased my ability to analyze prompts to see what it is asking and executing my response without adding irrelevant topics to the essay. Preparing in this way really helped me because the writing was extemporaneous.

When we arrived for the competition I was nervous but not nervous at the same time. It was a warm feeling there and I did not feel out of place. I enjoyed the other schools and learned more about the competitions. I learned how things are supposed to be done and what is expected of the individuals in HOSA. I felt very confident in my writing skills and in myself. I met the expectations and wrote my essay.

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Health Occupations Students of America, is a national initiative, connecting students across the country on topics related to the field of health sciences.

At first, I was nervous I would not finish in time, because we only had an hour to write the essays – but it turned out that I finished 15 minutes ahead of time! When we were given the assignments, I took my time re-reading the prompts and chose the one I could support the most. Within 45 minutes I had a six-paragraph essay giving three reasons why health partnerships are important with examples of each, including my experience with the Bridging the Gap Program at UAB Hospital with the Ed Foundation. With that essay, I won 3rd place and hope to go to the Nationals.

As a result of my HOSA experience, I am certain I am capable of achieving my goals in life. This experience helped me appreciate that I can do anything I set my mind to and that I am a winner. It meant that size does not matter, that my background does not matter. This is my first HOSA competition and I won 3rd place. That means a lot to me and those around me. I am glad I got the opportunity to have these experiences.

Monique and her fellow competitor Moriah will travel to California this summer to compete at Nationals and to that we say, best of luck ladies! You have made us so very proud. 

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