Crenshaw County HOSA competes at state competition

Published 10:06 pm Thursday, March 9, 2023

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Twenty-nine Crenshaw County School system students participated in the 2023 Alabama HOSA State Leadership Conference held at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery on March 2 and 3. The event showcased the knowledge, skills, and leadership qualities of some of the most promising healthcare students in the state.

HOSA, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, is a global student-led organization through which students learn content knowledge and develop skill sets that prepare them for a career in health care. HOSA’s mission is to empower students with what they need to become leaders in the global health community, through education, collaboration and experience.

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At the Alabama HOSA State Leadership Conference, students from across the state gathered to network with their peers, visit exhibits and workshops on the latest industry innovations, listen to speakers, compete in events, and elect the State Officer Team.

Crenshaw County School District Superintendent, Dodd Hawthorne, expressed his pride for the HOSA group, stating that both the state competitors and those headed to nationals have proven themselves to be the best in their field, with their hard work and dedication paying off.

“I am extremely proud of our HOSA students and their accomplishments,” Hawthorne said. “They have worked hard to get to this point, and I congratulate those that competed at the state level and wish those headed to nationals the best of luck. The students’ success also reflects the quality of education provided by their instructors.”

The competitive events covered a wide range of healthcare-related topics, including biomedical laboratory science, dental science, clinical nursing, veterinary science, and more. The competitions tested the student’s knowledge and skills in various healthcare-related areas and provided them with an opportunity to showcase their expertise.

Two Crenshaw County students qualified to attend the International Leadership Conference. Lane Duett, junior at Highland Home, placed 2nd in the Healthy Lifestyles category and Jasmine Chavers, Freshman at Highland Home. Duett and Chavers brought home a 1st place win in Interviewing skills. Duett and Chavers will travel to Dallas, Texas June 21-25 to compete at the national level.

Other students receiving recognition at the state competition were Brantley School senior Eli Nichols for his top six finish in the Healthy Lifestyles category, Highland Home High School Senior Avery Williams, for her top six finish in Medical Reading, as well as Charlie McVay and Nolleigh Reaves, both Highland Home seniors, for their top 6 finish in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) skills. Charley McVay also received the Barbara James Service award. Chloe Williamson, freshmen at Luverne High School, was the runner-up in the state pin design contest.

The keynote speaker was Tom McNeal, a workforce development specialist for Alabama Power Co. and formerly the No. 2 professional trials bicycle rider in the United States. McNeal, who has hired over 3,000 people, said he has tasted both failure and success and encouraged the students to do whatever it takes to overcome obstacles.

“Something is going to be in your way as you strive to achieve your goals,” McNeal said. “Do your very best and give it all you’ve got. Take risks, learn and grow. You are Alabama’s best resource. Take advantage of the education you are getting and the resources like HOSA that are made available to you.”

According to Tabitha Bryan Gary, health science instructor at Career Academy, the 2023 HOSA State Leadership Conference in Montgomery was a great success that gave students a chance to learn, grow, develop their leadership qualities, and prepare for their future. ,

“We are so proud of all of the students who qualified,” Gary said. “It takes much work to step out of your comfort zone and compete against everyone in the state. We encourage those that did not qualify to try again and work even harder next year.”