This summer, six Payson students who plan on pursuing careers in the medical field, placed in the top 10 competing against 5,000 other students at the National Leadership Conference of HOSA held June 25 to 30 in Nashville, Tenn.
Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) adviser and Eastern Arizona Area Health Education Center (EAHEC) staff member Amity Justice took the six students across the country in June to show off their skills with community health issues and CPR/first aid.
Mercedes Burciaga, Marily Ridings, Sedona O’Conner and Nisha Edwin placed seventh out of 75 teams in the community awareness competition.
The girls presented a project on nutrition they had created in partnership with the Payson High School culinary arts program.
Macy Dailey and Kassidy McAfee joined forces to also place seventh out of about 75 teams.
Justice said whenever the two participated in a competition they had focus and drive, which brought them to the attention of the judges.
The community, including NAVIT (a regional vocation program for high school students) and EAHEC covered registration fees, travel, lodging, transportation and food expenses.
Justice said the girls have graduated and already have wonderful opportunities.
“Two of our graduating seniors in HOSA won state HOSA scholarships for college and another one was offered a part-time job following the job-shadow she did for a HOSA competition,” she said.
Justice said traveling with this group of girls allowed her the chance to get to know them and they reminded her of the characters in the movie “The Breakfast Club,” so she wanted to stage a picture.
“I posed them like ‘The Breakfast Club’ poster because they really reflected the characters in the movie,” said Justice.
Justice will sponsor the HOSA club again this year. The first meeting will be at 3:30 p.m., Aug. 28 in the Payson High School library.