On March 30, the Dripping Springs HOSA chapter took five of its members to compete in the Texas State Leadership Conference in Corpus Christi. Lead by health science teacher Katie Henry, juniors Elaine Erickson, Emily Argento, Liliana Reyes along with seniors Avery Herron and Lisa Deya all placed in their respective events.

Although these students competed in April, their HOSA adventure and preparation started long before it.

“To prepare I studied by doing extra work outside of class and by doing several hospital and clinic internships,” Deya said. “After each visit, I would study what I saw the doctors and nurses were doing and why. Since my event was Clinical Nursing, I was able to apply my real world knowledge to the competition.”

In December, they qualified for Area via online testing. Once they advanced, these girls competed within their region, Area 1, where they placed high enough to advance to State.

“When we placed second, we were so excited we could go on to compete another round,” Argento said.

All this hard work brought them to the HOSA State Leadership conference where they got to compete and work alongside some of the brightest future health professionals in the state.

“It is a very serious competition at state, but it is nice to be with like minded peers to share your insights and experiences,” Deya said.

Day one of the conference took place March 31 where Deya and partners Reyes and Argento competed the first round of their events.

“Our event is Partner Forensic Medicine, so round one weeds out half the teams with a written test. Liliana and I got a high enough score on ours to move onto round two, which for us is the crime scene,” Argento said.

The next day, Reyes, Argento, and Deya all participated in round two of their events while partners Herron and Erickson presented their portfolio to a panel of judges hoping to place in Health Education.  

“Avery and I put together a portfolio outlining the components of our lesson and presented it to the judges. It was nerve wracking but rewarding to share all our hard work,”

Erickson said.

The results of the competition weren’t announced until the following day at the closing ceremony so with nothing more to do than wait, the girls had a little fun on the beach.

“After the events we went to the ocean, got really good food, ice cream, and even went mini golfing. It was really nice taking a break after weeks of hard work and preparation,” Reyes said.

Sunday April 2, the last day of the conference, the girls got their results back. Herron and Erickson placed fourth, Deya sixth, and Reyes and Argento-Bird eighth in their respective events.

“We were very nervous waiting for our results. However, we were very confident in how we did and the work we put into it,” Erickson said.

None of the girls qualified for Internationals, but this is the largest group to make HOSA State at Dripping Springs in the most recent years.

“Although we didn’t make it to Internationals,” Deya said, “I loved my competitive event so it was all worth it.”

Written by Liliana Reyes, Staff Writer