by Trinity Tran, EDITOR
21 November 2017
Senior HOSA co-presidents David Harbaugh and Jessica Sem host the HOSA table at Oswego East’s Future Wolves Night, which welcomed incoming freshmen to the high school. The event was held on the evening of November 16th. “Future Wolves Night went well,” Sem said. “I’m excited for all the future freshmen to join HOSA.” Photo by Aashi Patel.
Human skeletal models greet students as they enter the room. The black countertops house various medical tools varying from scalpels to tweezers, waiting for students to put to use. Posters adorn the walls with tips on goggle safety and proper lab conduct.
From 7:20 a.m. to 2:26 p.m., G225 is merely just a science classroom. On Fridays after school, it becomes remarkably more. G225 is a place where students come together to share their common passion for medicine and learning through the help of HOSA.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOSA
Health Occupations Students of America is a national student organization endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Technology Education Division of ACTE.
At Oswego East, HOSA is sponsored by Honors Anatomy and Physiology teacher Robyn Mellas, who hosts the meetings in her classroom Fridays after school. The club had a relatively good start as the advertising around the school did not go unnoticed.
“I actually joined the club the very first year it started after seeing the flyers hanging in the hallways. I had an interest in medicine and figured that joining HOSA would allow me to further this interest,” senior co-president David Harbaugh explained.
Initially, a considerable amount of students showed up to the first couple of meetings, but there was a significant drop-off in attendance as the year continued on, Mellas noted.
“The following year we made our presence more known when we held the blood drive and more students began to join. This year has been our best year yet regarding attendance because we have reached eighty-five members,” Mellas stated. “We have started to plan more activities, we are looking to receive national recognition, and we might begin to start participating in the competitions they hold nationally and locally.”
Despite her being the sponsor for the club, Mellas explained that it is her responsibility to ensure that the students are the ones who are making the decisions and getting involved because HOSA is designed to be extremely student led.
The club continues to improve every year, which senior co-president Jessica Sem can vouch for.
“Last year the club was pretty disorganized when it came to attendance and the meetings were rather inconsistent,” Sem admitted. “However, we have gotten off to a good start this year and have had regular meetings every Friday.”
HOSA LOOKS AHEAD
Sem and Harbaugh both met with Mellas over the summer to effectively plan for a more successful year, discussing potential fundraisers and guest speakers. Over the years, HOSA members have heard from a variety of speakers ranging from nurses to coroners.
“It was cool to hear from speakers that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as ‘health care-related’ and learn more about their occupations,” junior Sanjna Reddy explained. “I plan to be a lot more involved this year than last year.”
The club leaders hope to bring in more guest speakers such as an internal medicine doctor, a psychologist, and a dentist, in order to appeal to a broad range of interests.
“I want people to want to come to our club not merely because it’s another club on their resume, but because it’s something they have a passion for.”
— senior HOSA co-president Jessica Sem
Bringing in more guest speakers is only one of the many goals HOSA hopes to accomplish this year and in upcoming years. A major part of HOSA’s demographic is the percentage of students who are unsure about their interest in the healthcare field.
There are several students in the club who aren’t completely positive that this is what they want to pursue and the club leaders hope that they can provide them with the resources they need to determine this answer.
“As co-president, I want to bring leadership and motivation to a group of students who share the same passion as me for medicine,” Harbaugh said. “I hope that the club members will gain a sense of satisfaction. I want them to be satisfied with their decision to join HOSA and I hope that from our club, they will either be able to say, ‘I definitely want this to be my career or I definitely don’t want this to be my career.’”
Sem’s goals align with Harbaugh’s as she similarly desires to provide students with the same satisfaction.
“I want people to want to come to our club not merely because it’s another club on their resume, but because it’s something they have a passion for. I want them to be able to explore the medical field and have more insight on what they want to pursue in that field by providing them with more knowledge,” Sem said.
Sem provided to give more insight into her personal background and her reasoning for joining the club the previous year.
“I have always been interested in the medical field and I knew that it was definitely what I wanted to pursue after my father passed away from cancer last year,” Sem explained. “I want to be able to help others who might be going through the same thing as I did.”
HOSA partnered up with another organization at East: Students Against Melanoma. By partnering up with SAM, they hope to bring awareness to melanoma through fundraisers and other events.
“We actually planned a 5K for melanoma awareness but due to weather conditions, it was canceled,” Harbaugh said. “However, our hard work won’t go to waste because our planning will help the executive board next year. HOSA has brought me to a community of people who share the same interest and passion as me, which is something I wouldn’t have been able to find at this school otherwise.”
HOSA meets each Friday by appointment in G225.
Trinity Tran is an editor for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the HOWL