Students compete at HOSA, freshman takes fourth place

Oak Park high school students attend HOSA competition

This year, 31 students from Oak Park High School competed in various events of the state Health Occupations Students of America competition, which took place from April 5 to 6.

HOSA is a competitive student organization for students looking to find a profession in the medical or health fields, with over 200,000 members in several countries. Over the course of the convention, students compete in various events ranging from Medical Terminology to Healthy Lifestyles.

Students attended workshops and ceremonies related to the medical field during the convention in addition to the various competitions held.

“The overall experience was very fun and educational because we were able to obtain lots of knowledge about both the medical field and working with other people in general,” freshman Anshu Voruganti wrote to the Talon.

Freshman Nikhil Kalakota placed fourth in the Healthy Lifestyles competition. In the Healthy Lifestyles competition, students were challenged to make and track changes that would affect both their physical and mental health.

Kalakota performed various exercises over a span of months to improve upon his health. As part of the challenge, he was required to assemble a portfolio of his progress and complete an interview at the competition.

“I basically wanted to improve my body image, because I wasn’t very confident. I was feeling pretty insecure about that, so that was a big portion of my portfolio. The first three weeks, I didn’t see much results, but after the intensity got really hard I started to see results,” Kalakota said.

The interview portion took place at the center where the convention was held. Students had a choice to compete either on a team or individually.

“The whole competition had a few thousand kids and my division had a lot. They started with a lot, then gradually decreased it down to maybe 30 or 40 kids,” Kalakota said. “Once they had those kids, they interviewed each of us.”

The competition allows for students to meet others from other schools and make friends with people of varying ages and backgrounds.

“I think my favorite part was meeting new people and seeing how certain people were like,” senior Trisha Sharma said. “What sort of competitive events they were doing – just sort of interacting with people, that was the best part.”

Though the competition is geared towards students who are interested in medical professions, it is good way to develop skills that can be used in a multitude of scenarios.

“I would definitely recommend it to other people,” senior Samhitha Yadalla wrote. “Even if someone is not interested in the medical field, this club is useful.”

Yadalla said she believes that HOSA is a tool that can be used to expose students to “key global issues.” Though she does not plan to compete again, she finds that it is a good experience for students of all levels to have.

“It built my public speaking skills and gave me new experiences I never knew I needed. Competition is the best part because it’s a field trip and we don’t have many in high school,” Yadalla wrote. “It’s a great bonding experience and builds friendships among people from various grades.”