South Dakota HOSA students soak up the sun in Orlando at the ILC

HOSA’s 2019 International Leadership Conference in Orlando Florida was truly magnificent. It was filled with laughter, competition, and a little bit of magic. The students who were able to attend met so many new people from around the globe and created memories that would last a lifetime. 

Opening session: 
From the beginning of the conference, everyone knew it would be a wonderful experience. Opening session started with lights flaring and music blaring in a room filled with thousands of students. The executive board was very enthusiastic and excited to start the conference. This session consisted of a couple of scholarships being awarded, varying individuals being recognized for their accomplishments throughout the year, along with an amazing keynote speaker. All in all, the opening session was a great way to get the conference started. 

Breakout Sessions: 
While HOSA students are not competing, they are welcome to attend one of the many Educational Symposium workshops that are held in various ballrooms around the resort. These workshops are presented by professionals partners about current healthcare issues, and there are different ones available each day of the conference. A few of the state officers attended a workshop called “Because Everyone Has A Heart - The Tragic Loss of Two Students Brings Purpose to a Chapter”. It was brought to you by the New Prairie United School Corporation and was presented by Indiana HOSA Advisor, Tonya Aerts, and Indiana HOSA student, Kaley Sikorski. They talked about the journey of going through the tragic loss of two student athletes to sudden cardiac arrest, and the actions they took to prevent a similar event happening in the future. Our state officers learned about the importance of getting a heart screening and the availability of an AED in schools. All around, these Educational Symposium workshops are vital for opening HOSA students’ minds to health-related concepts and happenings in the world.

Flag-bearing practice/Parade of Flags:
Every year during the Opening Session, HOSA’s chartered associations from all around the world are celebrated with the Parade of Flags, where one member from each state, country, and U.S. territory carries a flag across the stage. State Parliamentarian, Kendra Elk Looks Back, had the honor of carrying the South Dakota state flag. Before the session started, she attended flag-bearing practice where she stood in line with all of the other flag-bearers, and practiced walking across the stage. According to Kendra, it was an amazing experience representing South Dakota HOSA, as well as being able to see HOSA as a whole from the stage. Overall, the Parade of Flags was a wonderful event done to recognize the world of HOSA. 

Thousands of HOSA members from across the world traveled to Orlando, Florida to participate in HOSA competitive events. These competitive events can be team or individual and are related to health care and HOSA activities. Events motivate students to learn and improve in health skills and knowledge. Members who place in competitive events at the state level in the spring are able to compete at the International Leadership Conference. HOSA offers over 50 events, such as Clinical Nursing, CPR/First Aid, Health Career Photography, and HOSA Bowl. Imagine the feeling of standing on stage at ILC, hearing your name announced, and receiving a medal for placing first, second, or third in the world.

U.S. Surgeon General’s 5K Fun Run: 
Early morning on June 22, before the Florida heat and humidity set in, hundreds of HOSA members prepared to run. HOSA partnered with the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Jerome M. Adams, to host a 5K Fun Run at the International Leadership Conference. The event was aimed at fighting addiction, mental illness, and obesity. The U.S. Surgeon General led participants in a warm up and even ran alongside runners. HOSA members from around the world participated, along with the 2018-19 executive board. When runners reached the finish line they were greeted by a cheering crowd. Top 3 finishers were given an award and everyone received a participation gift after crossing the finish line.

Disney Day: 
     As the fun activities (and stress of competitive events!) of the conference began to wind down, HOSA members were given a day to roam the Disney Parks and let loose before the closing ceremonies. Members visited Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and more! South Dakota HOSA members were spotted all over Orlando, taking time to relax and recharge with friends. As closing ceremonies grew near, the day at Disney was drawn to a close with sweet snacks, exhilarating rides, and lifelong memories shared with fellow HOSA members. The time had finally come for the award ceremony!

     The 2019 HOSA: Future Health Professionals International Leadership Conference was an experience that fueled the flames of future healthcare for students across the globe. South Dakota HOSA members who attended did phenomenal in their events (congratulations again to Izzy Hohn!), as well as in their representation of the Mount Rushmore State! From breakout sessions and symposiums, to competitive events and 5k runs with the Surgeon General, this year’s ILC was definitely one for the books! Knowledge was expanded, lifelong friendships were built, and it was a great ending to the 2018-2019 HOSA year as members everywhere defined their 
purposes. Here’s to another year of excellence!

Thanks everyone !!!!