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HOSA members from Bob Jones High School impressed judges at the State Leadership Conference in Montgomery on March 1-3. CONTRIBUTED

Bob Jones HOSA gain 21 berths to international conference

MADISON – From Bob Jones High School, 42 students in HOSA Future Health Professionals travelled to the State Leadership Conference in Montgomery on March 1-3. Twenty-one of those teenagers placed and qualified with outstanding presentations for the International Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas in June.

Approximately 100 schools participated in the conference with 1,800 students and teacher advisors.

“We were so impressed with the level of commitment our students demonstrated in their preparation,” HOSA Advisor Kara Koler said. A registered nurse, Koler teaches in Bob Jones Medical Academy and Project Lead the Way. (In rebranding, the HOSA organization kept its acronym but now uses the name, “Future Health Professionals.”)

These students earned first to third place to win medals and qualified them for the international conference:

* Behavioral Health — Thais Anslanbekov, first; Morgan Dunham, top six.

* Biomedical Debate – Areej Gouda, Maribel Marrero and Dhara Pate, second.

* Clinical Lab Science — Alina Vu, first; Samantha Smith, third; and Jackie Sullivan, top six.

* Cultural Diversity — Lucy Phillips, second.

* Dental Science — Pranav Ramesh, first.

* Epidemiology — Pranav Satheesh, top six.

* Health Education — Hannah Evans, Kennedi Gore, Jenna Hooper and Emily Lee, third.

* Medical Law & Ethics — Gwendolyn Sexton, first, and Soorya Ramesh, second.

* Nutrition — Elaine Bao, second, and Cindy Liao, top six.

* Pathophysiology — Puja Chopade, second.

* Pharmacy Science — Connor Nguyen, first, and Enni Nguyen, second.

* Physical Therapy — Alicia Walker, first.

* Veterinary Science — Zaylee Rogers, third.

* Healthcare Issues — Anish Katoch (also Biomed Debate), third.

Also at the conference, Maribel Marrero was elected 1st Vice President and Secretary of Alabama HOSA. “Maribel is now the third consecutive officer from Bob Jones, following Nini Nguyen in 2021-2022 and Emily Lee in 2022-2023,” HOSA Spokesperson Hannah Evans said.

“We have had more than three consecutive state officers,” Koler said. “Emily Lee was our previous year’s HOSA State Officer. Any HOSA student can run for state office but only four students are elected from across the state. Competition is stiff so winning an election is a great accomplishment,” Koler said.

The conference offered more than 50 events from which students can choose to compete, along with skills workshops and motivational speakers. ( Activities include knowledge tests, prepared speaking, job seeking skills, medical innovations and scientific posters.

“Many events have a first-round knowledge test, and the top scores compete in a skills presentation,” Koler said.

By participating in conferences, students realize their confidence level and leadership ability improve significantly with preparation and actual participation in the event, Koler said.

HOSA is open to students in grades 9-12. Anyone interested in a healthcare career can join.

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