July 16, 2012

Students from Northeastern’s HOSA program attending the national conference in Orlando in late June included: (Back row l to r): Hannan Schreyer, Kai Fuller, Atyson Hidalgo, Keegan Fuller and Emily Brower. (Front row l to r): Neha Karg, Justine Thiessen, Amanda Rogers, Megan Zimmerman, and Ashley Reeves.

Students from Northeastern’s HOSA program attending the national conference in Orlando in late June included: (Back row l to r): Hannan Schreyer, Kai Fuller, Atyson Hidalgo, Keegan Fuller and Emily Brower. (Front row l to r): Neha Karg, Justine Thiessen, Amanda Rogers, Megan Zimmerman, and Ashley Reeves. (Courtesy Photo)

Ten Northeastern Junior College Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) attended the 35th Annual Leadership Conference June 20-23, 2012 in Orlando, Florida accompanied by advisor Joleen Rinaldo. This conference provides many opportunities for students. There are general sessions with dynamic speakers, recognition sessions to honor student accomplishments, award ceremonies for successful performance of competitive events by students, educational symposiums, a HOSA Exposition opportunity to network with other students and healthcare providers from across the nation, and leadership training academies for professional development. Over 5,000 students were in attendance.

The opening session featured J.R. Martinez as the keynote speaker. He is recognized as a dancer, actor, spokesman and retired soldier. He recently won the coveted mirror trophy on Dancing with the Stars and has been an actor for three years on the Emmy Award winning daytime drama All My Children. His role as an injured Iraq combat veteran mirrored his own life. In March of 2003, J.R. was deployed to Iraq and on April 5 as the driver of a Humvee that hit a land-mine, was trapped inside and suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body. He spent 34 months in recovery and underwent 33 different surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. J.R. decided to use his experience to help others and continues to share his story of resilience and optimism. He understands the true value in making the most of every situation. J.R.'s story from a patient's perspective helps students to understand the impact healthcare providers have on each patient they serve. His presentation was very inspiring and motivational. He is a true hero.

Colorado HOSA was represented by 113 delegates. There were two student medalists in the postsecondary division from Colorado Mesa University in medical assisting and physical therapy events. There were ten Top Ten Finalists which included Emily Brower from NJC Postsecondary division. Emily placed 10th in the nutrition knowledge test event. Colorado had 17 Round 2 finalists. (In skill events students must take a written test first and then if they place high enough they proceed to Round 2 of their respective competitive event to actually perform their skills.)

Colorado had 15 national recognition program completers which included an outstanding newsletter submitted by Sianna Gomez from NJC and a  HOSA Week report submitted by NJC Tiffany Fitzjohn.

Students from NJC HOSA attending and their respective events are as follows:   Postsecondary-Emily Brower-Nutrition Knowledge Test. Secondary-Kai and Keegan Fuller-CPR/First Aid, Tayson Hidalgo-Physical Therapy, Neha Karg-Human Growth and Development Knowledge Test, Ashley Reeves and Megan Zimmerman-Career Health Display, Amanda Rogers-Outstanding HOSA Chapter or Scrapbook event, Hannah Schreyer-Veterinary Science, Justine Thiessen-Dental Terminology. Amanda Rogers also attended the Leadership Training Academy in preparation for her Colorado State Officer position and NJC Chapter President  position for 2012-2013 school year.

The HOSA National Leaderhip Conference is a wonderful opportunity and experience. Competition is very tough and requires a lot of commitment and hard work.