Congratulations to the Wiregrass Ranch High (WRH) students who won awards at the Health Occupations Students of America (aka HOSA-Future Health Professionals) State Leadership Conference held in Orlando Apr. 13-16.

These students have the opportunity to represent Florida at the HOSA International Leadership Conference in Dallas in late June.

WRH dominated the CPR & First Aid skills competitions, with Mahek Mody and Aizah Rahman taking first place, and Ava Sullivan and Angelika Domenech finishing second.

“They did a lot of practicing,” says HOSA sponsor Allison Wiley. “They were working every day to perfect their craft.”

In addition, Khushi Chitalia took second place in Veterinary Services and Jasmine Ahmed finished in second for Clinical Nursing. In Epidemiology, Tanmay Patil grabbed fourth place.

In the Public Service Announcement category, Calina Levy, Nuha Naveen and Chris O’Donell finished in second place.

Wiley says all of the students showed a lot of initiative when they chose to participate in this competition.

“They are very dedicated,” she says. “Most of them are taking AP classes and have a mindset of achieving their goals, and this is something that builds their self-esteem and looks good in their portfolios.”

In at least one case, a team that didn’t finish in the State top five is using the competition as a platform for something more. Junior Aleah Diaz says she and her teammates — Anda Tram-Lan, Tristan Pasquale, Maria Dsouza (photo, above) — took on a project they became passionate about.

It focused on public awareness surrounding endometriosis, a serious gynecologic disorder they learned affects one in 10 women and is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The group’s goal is to raise awareness of the problem so that more women get a proper diagnosis earlier. 

The four of them already have attended a medical conference, shown a documentary at their school and are sharing information via their Instagram account @endoawareness. 

Diaz says that although the four of them are done with the competition for this year, she will continue the effort to share what they’ve learned.

“I want to keep advocating on this topic,” she says. “I was interested in the medical field but not sure what I wanted to do specifically. But now, I think I’ll do medical research or maybe go the OB/GYN route.”

A team from John Long Middle School took home second place in the Middle School “HOSA Bowl” category, but the students’ names were not released.

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