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Cash Cow: HOSA fundraises for nationals

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Provided by Betty Doyle

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Health Occupations Students of America’s (HOSA) is a student – run club that focuses on preparing students for competition by studying different areas in the medical field. Recent success in area and state competitions have made four students eligible for nationals. While the district funds $600 per student for all club national competition fees, the money does not cover the total cost for these students according to HOSA sponsor Betty Doyle. HOSA’s national competition will be held in Orlando, Florida on June 25-28. To collect the remaining fees, Doyle brainstormed fundraising ideas, but HOSA still needs $5,000 to cover travel fees and an included trip to Disney World.

After nationals, Doyle realized that funds would be needed to travel to Orlando, but the $5,000 raised throughout the year from shirt and gum sales was spent on traveling to Abilene and San Antonio for the competitions leading up to nationals. Significant funds were still needed. With larger groups, it is easier to obtain funds, but HOSA is smaller and receives less overall money since the $600 funds are for each student according to Doyle.

“Fundraising is one of my greatest challenges as the HOSA sponsor,” Doyle said. “The HOSA club is very expensive to run because there’s a lot of travel for competition. I’m new at being the sponsor and HOSA is a new club to the district so I have to figure out how it all works.”

According to Doyle, the Silver Wings donation website served as inspiration for the HOSA fundraising website. OrthoTexas doctor Keith Heier initiated the donations by giving $500, but HOSA still has a long way to go to raise all the money needed to travel. To further raise money for the benefit of the students, HOSA officers will email and pass out flyers to notify students and parents to raise awareness of HOSA’s needed funds. Since HOSA is a medical club, members will visit different doctor’s offices to ask for donations in order to preserve the next generation of doctors. If all else fails, HOSA’s backup plan includes a Sonic fundraiser similar to Circle of Friends’ Sonic workdays. To individually save money, the three female students traveling will also share a hotel room to divide up the cost, but the money not raised in the end will fall to the eligible students.

However, before HOSA could get to nationals, many meetings were held to prepare the members for area, state and national competitions. According to Doyle, HOSA adopts the “practice makes perfect” motto as they hold mock competitions and pass knowledge down from older members to newer members. To further prepare new members, Doyle reached out to Collegiate HOSA at UT Dallas to have college level mentors help the members and hold a mock trial for area schools.

“A lot of events are team events,” Doyle said. “If one person graduates, you still have two team members and [you] bring on new members who have been there and done that … which makes us more successful. We all stayed after school and ordered pizzas. We had practice tests and performance tests, like Clinical Specialty. The [students] did their speeches in front of us so we could give them feedback.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”no-repeat” bg_color=”#2ac4ea” text_color=”light” text_align=”left”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

However, freshman Christina George and junior Abhipsa Das had to take another route by preparing individually. For George, money went toward college textbooks since a course for her medical topic was not offered at the school. For Das’ research event, she shadowed a cardiac interventionist at Veterans Hospital. As part of the process, Das witnessed four types of surgeries and answered judges’ questions in an interview about her experience. The material proof of the knowledge Das gained at the hospital was shown through a video and book about her experience.

“It was basically practicing that skill and mastering it and being able to finally perform it on someone else,” Das said. “It was great, [the doctor] is a really busy person so I was really lucky to get the opportunity to observe him. The hardest part was standing there wearing the lead equipment that’s really heavy and I’m a tiny person. I thought [about] how these people [were able to] perform a surgery while standing. It’s pretty impressive.”

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Doyle, while new to teaching, volunteered to sponsor the medical club due to her prior experience as a nursing assistant, interest in biology and a daughter interested in becoming a veterinarian. HOSA’s empty spot for a sponsor led her to where she is today. After HOSA’s second year as an official club, celebration came alongside results from the state competition. Das, George, senior Farhan Ahmad and junior Srija Seenivasan placed in the top three spots in their competitions, securing a spot for nationals.

“The best and the brightest are in the club,” Doyle said. “It’s the top students in the school. [I was] super excited, there was screaming and jumping. They work very hard for this, and with us being so new and going up against districts like Frisco and Mckinney that are bringing 300 kids, it’s impressive to hear Hebron’s name over and over. It makes me proud.”

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Cash Cow: HOSA fundraises for nationals