Six members of Payson’s Health Occupation Student Association (HOSA) will compete in a national competition June 25 through June 30 in Nashville, Tenn.
In the club’s first state competition since Amity Justice took over as the advisor, six out of the nine students who competed qualified for the nationals.
Macy Dailey and Kassidy McAfee will compete in the CPR/First Aid competition.
“The girls will be thrown into an emergency situation,” said Justice. “They will have to work together to determine how to stabilize the situation.”
Marily-Rose Ridings, Nisha Edwin, Mercedes Burciaga and Sedona O’Connor will compete in the community awareness competition.
“They could have done any sort of project,” said Justice, “But they decided to pair up with the Culinary Arts program to teach nutrition.”
The community has rallied behind the six students, offering funds for travel and conference expenses.
“The NAVIT program and the Mogollon Health Alliance are providing support towards this trip,” said Justice, who runs HOSA as part of her program coordinator position with the Eastern Arizona Area Health Education Center Program (EAHEC).
EAHEC, an organization sponsored by the University of Arizona Health Science Center Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health, has helped Justice to re-start the HOSA program as part of its mission to support youth interested in the medical field.
HOSA used to be run by Cindy Poole, said Justice. Through her leadership, Justice said the high school students had a vibrant, award-winning program, but after her untimely death, the club folded.
Justice has spent the last year rebuilding the club by telling students, such as Dailey, who completed the NAVIT nursing program and will go to the University of Arizona next year to complete her nursing degree, to “just trust me, this will help.”
She was right.
Many of the students attending the HOSA national championships have graduated. Because of their involvement with the club, they received scholarships based on their experiences.
The HOSA nationals will pit the six Payson girls against 7,500 students from around the country, said Justice.