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AHS students win awards at health occupation competition

AHS students win awards at health occupation competition
Posted on 04/09/2019

From the outside, you’d never guess what it takes to compete in the HOSA State Competition. There’s a written test, on-the-spot oral tests,problem solving and public speaking; a section of the competition even tests your creative art abilities. It’s a demanding, days-long tournament that includes hundreds of students, and Arlington High School just brought home two, top 10 awards.

HOSA, or Health Occupations Students of America, is a student organization dedicated to future health professionals; it’s meant to develop skills and knowledge for those interested in a career in healthcare.

Last month, fifteen AHS HOSA students traveled to Chattanooga to competeTwo girls pose with a display boardin the state competition. Amanda Miller and Hannah Luu beat 93 other schools to win 1st place in the Health Care Career Display competition.

“There were hundreds of students competing, so I didn’t think we were going to get any higher than 5th place,” Amanda laughed. “But then they called 4th and 3rd and 2nd…we were the only team left.”

Amanda and Hannah were required to make a display about a specific healthcare career – they chose veterinarian. The display included a job description, salary, workplace hazards and the specialties in the field. It also had to be creative, so they molded clay animals to hang on the display. They then presented their findings to a panel of judges.

“I think we stepped outside of the box by including certain facts about the job,” Hannah said. “The timekeeper came up to us afterward and said the moldings were very creative and grabbed the judges’ attention.”

HOSA students Avery Molnar, Belle Fox and Jacey Bouldin also won 8th place in the Creative Problem Solving competition. Their process started in January at the regional tournament where they were tested and qualified for the state competition. At State, they were tested again and had 30 minutes to create a display that gave solutions to a problem. They weren’t told in advance what the problem would be.

Three girls pose for a picture“We were asked to identify why a person would be barred from entering the military,” Jacey said. “We determined it’s due to obesity, criminal records, behavioral issues or lack of education. We then had to find a way to help with these deficits.”

“This competition, especially, helped me understand the importance of communication and teamwork,” Belle said. “We were faced with a problem that required collaboration from all of us. Individually we didn’t have all the answers.”

Over the course of the four-day competition, the students said they grew closer as a team. They’ve even started prepping for next year. “I’ll study for the test more,” Avery laughed. “But I think it will be important to apply what I learn from the test to the problem-solving portion of the competition.”

“I’m just proud of the leaders they have become,” said Kaitlyn Scherffius, an AHS teacher and sponsor of HOSA. “They took it seriously, studying outside of school and spending their free time in my class learning. They took the initiative to get this far, and it paid off. I’m excited to see what they’ll do next year.”

Group of people laughing with each other