PALMDALE — Palmdale High School’s Health Careers Academy students found success last month at the 2019 HOSA State Leadership Conference.
Palmdale High took 112 students, four advisors, and eight chaperones to the conference, conducted March 28-31 at the Sacramento Convention Center.
Health Careers Academy advisers Angela Hefter and Deb DiMeglio took 12 Palmdale High Health Careers Academy HOSA students and two Palmdale Preparatory Academy students to Sacramento two days prior to the conference for a Speak Up Youth forum focused on Mental Behavior Awareness.
An estimated 4,000 HOSA students from across the state attended the conference.
The students brought home a gold medal in CPR/First Aid and a silver medal in Medical Innovations. They also placed in the top 10 in Medical Assisting, Community Awareness, Extemporaneous Writing, Forensic Medicine and Medical Assisting.
Seniors Citlaly Ponce and partner Evelia Vasquez received a gold medal in CPR/First Aid.
There were 196 teams from 52 HOSA chapters represented in the competition.
They earned a bronze medal in the same category last year.
“I learned how to manage my time a little better and I realized the mistake I made last year and how to improve on them for this year,” Ponce said.
Vasquez said she studied more anatomy for the written test to make it to the second, skilled round.
The pair earned a trip to HOSA’s International Leadership Conference in Orlando this June.
Students Jessica Ramirez and Matthew Garcia placed seventh in CPR/First Aid.
Sophomore Prishna Martiznez and senior Ayla Moreno came home with a silver medal for their project, Health and Exercise using Augmented Learning, or H.E.A.L., which combines virtual reality with rehabilitation therapy.
“I think what sold it to them is that fact that we were so enthusiastic about it,” Martinez said.
The pair will take their project to HOSA’s International Leadership Conference in Orlando this June.
Students Matthew Garcia, Destiny Martinez, Jessica Ramirez, and Cindy Gonzalez each received the Barbara James Service Award for volunteering.
Three students — Ayla Moreno, Cynthia Reyes, and Alejandra Garcia — received scholarships.
Student Santiago Cortes placed seventh in Extemporaneous Writing.
Seniors Camryn Millon and Gisella Martinez placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in Medical Assisting.
“This is my first time competing in this event and my fourth time going to HOSA,” Millon said.
Millon tried CPR/First Aid at the three previous HOSA events. She wanted to try a solo event this year.
“I wanted to be independent so this was the perfect one because we have the class too,” Millon said.
Students Cheyenne Adams and Amoreena Adams placed seventh in Medical Assisting. Student Nallely De La Rosa placed eighth in Medical Assisting, and Alejandra Garcia placed 10th in Medial Assisting.
Palmdale High also was recognized as an outstanding HOSA chapter, a HOSA book project by students junior Raymiro Gomez, April Avina, Jocelyn Cano-Ruiz and Sophia Mulatillo.
“We started in the beginning of the year. We started off by organizing exactly what’s going to be in the book, so we made folders. As time progressed we got the pictures, like basically the data of what HOSA has done throughout the year,” Gomez said.
Students John Dino, Felicity Heesch and Yershanie Madrid took fourth place in the Community Awareness category for their project about texting and driving.
“We covered distracted driving too, like talking and eating,” Dino said.
Senior Marissa Martine was recognized for her HOSA Happenings newsletter.
“I covered local chapter news,medical awareness, and I did a page dedicated to (Tim) Klein this year,” Martine said
Klein is the beloved co-coordinator of the academy who died last June in a fall from 3,000-foot-tall El Capitan at Yosemite National Park.
“I really wanted to express who he was,” Martine said.
Betsy McKinstry, director of College and Career Readiness for the District, received the California-HOSA Outstanding Administrator of the Year award.
Hefter nominated McKinstry on behalf of the Antelope Valley Union High School District. The nomination received the support of other HOSA chapters in the District’s region.
McKinstry, speaking with HOSA students on Thursday, described herself as a “silent partner.”
“She is a silent partner. But she’s a valued silent partner behind the scenes, in front of the scenes, in the middle of the scene — anywhere she can be she’s supporting us,” Hefter said.
McKinstry said her goal is to facilitate teacher and student success in Career Technical Education.
“It really isn’t me. This is the mission and vision of the District, and I feel that’s my job … I’m just so honored to have that recognition,” McKinstry said.
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