WEST JEFFERSON — A total of 18 students from Ashe County High School traveled to Greensboro for the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) state competition March 31 – April 2.
Five of those students placed in the top 10 in their respective events. Brianna Weaver finished second in the nursing assistant competition, Sabrina Walton was fourth and Linda Francisco finished seventh. Weaver will continue on to the national competition set to take place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Anna Corley and Caleb Cooper finished fifth in the health education competition.
The health education project put together by Corley and Cooper involved going to Blue Ridge Elementary School to teach the students the proper way to brush their teeth.
In the other events, Emily Blevins, Katie Henson, Nikki Miller and Kelsi McKiddy all reached the second round in the health career display competition. Kinsey Rash competed in dental terminology, Caroline Hamm, Claire Liszka and Jennifer Sanchez competed in medical reading, Taylor Walton competed in a scrapbook competition and the team of Quentin Wellington, Chris Lopez, Travis Hartsoe and Brooke Rutherford created a public service announcement about exercise for a PSA competition.
The PSA team used the studio at Skyline to record a comedic skit to show the importance of exercise.
“We elaborated on what you could do to increase your exercise like playing sports or even getting out and walking,” said Wellington. “There were statistics about obesity in America and how you can overcome obstacles in your lives with exercise.”
The PSA team competed against more than 60 other people in the event.
The students enjoyed the weekend and used the time to strengthen their passion for the healthcare industry.
“I feel like it broadened my horizons into the health field,” said Liszka.
Hamm felt the same way with the new opportunities she experienced at the state convention.
“I really enjoyed it. It helped me develop my love for healthcare and how I want to be a future healthcare professional and help everybody,” said Hamm.
“The HOSA competition was so fun. We practiced for the competition from basically January through March after school, three days a week,” said Sabrina Walton. “Using the skills we did, I think it helped me become a better CNA and I love getting to spend the time with all of us.”
Ashe County HOSA president Linda Francisco also added that “it definitely brought us together closer as a family.”
“I’m really proud of everyone’s behavior. A teacher wasn’t watching us 24-7 but we got to all of our events on time. It was basically our responsibility to be there on time and everyone did so good,” said Francisco. “We would meet as a group to go to one of the opening ceremonies at a certain time and everyone got there on time. It was awesome.”
Overall, the Ashe County High School HOSA chapter has 63 members.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87