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MTHS, MSHS students excel at HOSA

For The Madera Tribune

The Madera South’s Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club had a great day at the State Leadership Conference.


For the first time in two years, the Madera South’s Health Occupations Students of American was able to compete in the State Leadership Conference and came away with a number of awards.

In addition, Matilda Torres’ HOSA students competed in the leadership conference for the first time, in-person, and also came away with a number of awards.

“It was amazing to see these students meet new people,” said Torres HOSA adviser Jennifer Williams. “They definitely exceeded their own expectations when it came to competitive events. They had to learn leadership development and communication. It was a really awesome experience to see these kids go from behind the computer screen to interacting with students from California and see what it’s like to compete in these medical activities.”

“The last two years have been totally nothing,” advisor Mary Pietrowski said. “It was done virtually, but not at the same level. We had some great results.”

The Madera South students made an impact at the HOSA Conference. They were named the top fund raising school in the state for the HOSA National fundraiser, “Be the Match.”

Led by fundraising chairperson Bethany Villa, Madera south raised $3,446 out of the $9,000 raised by schools in California.

“We were so excited to be the top fundraising school,” Pietrowski said. “They said all California chapters earned a little more than $9,000. We earned $3,446 of that $9,000. It’s over 40 percent. We did that with our community service committee. We sold during the football games. We asked for donations and did games people would play. We did that for the football games. We did the concession at the fashion show. We did online donations. The kids sent out things to family and friends to collect donations. That was exciting we raised the most money. We didn’t get a certificate, yet. I think it was great.”

In addition, Matilda Torres raised almost $1,000 in just nine weeks and earned a merit certificate.

“They did that by spending every lunch hour asking every student and teacher on campus for donations,” Williams said. “They went to sporting events to bring awareness. They dedicated a lot of time to support that. For Madera being such a small community, for our district to raise a majority of funds, is a true honor to me. Our students are motivated, selfless and all about helping other people.

“They had stickers and other things they were giving out. We had students go outside of school and collect in the community. I had to explain to our kids about tax ID. They got real world experience on what it means. They had to learn about what that organization is all about. They had to learn about what supports there are and why they needed to do this fund raising.”

In addition to fund raising, the students also got the opportunity lo learn life skills, including how to make educated decisions.

“It was a great experience for them to be a part of that,” Williams said. “The kids that are going for the national service project, they were able to vote for the next two-year project. They were able to learn how to be voting delegates, what that means having to collect data to make informed decisions and having those decisions made for the organization.”

Eight Madera South students earned awards for the Barbara James Community Service award. Villa, Miryam Escalero and Brandy Villa-Gomez each earned gold medals for the most hours.

Naysa Villa, Lizette Ibarra and Elida Galiano earned silver medals and Leslie Mendoza-Vsquez and Isabella Mejia earned bronze medals.

“One of the things we have for our graduation requirements, if they want to wear the HOSA stoll, they have to do the Barbara James service award,” Pietrowski said. “It’s doing community service in the health field. This year, we had more than we ever had. I think it’s even more impressive because these kids, with COVID, couldn’t do their normal hours. They had to find different means to volunteer. They thought outside the box to get their hours. They worked through the public health department and lots of Zoom things they did to volunteer. Gold means they earned over 300 hours (June 1 last year to March). That, to me, was more than we normally had, but it was great because they had to earn those hours through a different method.”

Matilda Torres had two bronze medalists — Angelica Gonzalez and Gabriela Molina — in Barbara James Community Service.

Molina also placed third in the state in health career photography and earned a spot at the HOSA International Leadership Conference.

”For our first year, I was blown away to have kids go to the international conference,” Williams said. “I was really excited. I thought this year, we were just going to go and experience it. To have a student place third in the state in the competition and be one of three to compete at the world level is indescribable.”

In addition, Ingrid Sosa-Ramirez, Ingris Ortiz-Miguel, Stephanie Enegas-Medina and Daniel Arellano also earned trips to Nashville to represent Matilda Torres in the “Be the Match” program. Club historian Thomas Palacios will also represent the chapter for HOSA Happenings.

Madera South also earned a few awards. Bethany and Naysa Villa earned a trip to the International competition with a silver medal in CPR and first aid. Noemi Montiel placed fifth in healthcare photography and Bethany Villa also placed fifth in medical reading.

Madera South was also recognized for its HOSA Happenings chapter website that is run by Villa-Gomez and Escalera.

Both Madera South and Matilda Torres were named a HOSA 100 club, which indicates that all members are affiliated with HOSA.

One of the tings that advisor Pietrowski was proud of was a selfless moment by two of her students — Montiel, Sophia Nassar and Alannah Delacruz.

“I had three girls doing health care photography, which required them to have a binder with the pictures and photos with the narrative about the health career they were portraying,” Pietrowski said. “They are all in a waiting area to go in to see the judges. One at a time, they had appointments. One girl they didn’t know didn’t have a binder. It’s a HOSA binder you specifically purchase on the HOSA website. This girl was distressed because she saw everyone with this binder. Her advisor didn’t tell her that. She just had an Office Depot binder. The MSHS kids said they were going first. They told her, ‘When we come out, we’ll take pictures out of our binder and you can use our binder to put your pictures in.’ I thought that was great. This was a competitor against them. I thought that was a great act of kindness. They initiated it and did it on their own. The girl was so appreciative of the fact they did that. It made my heart very happy.”


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