Juniors Yusra Sannah, Ayah Ayesh, and Caitlin Benitez bring HOSA to FHC


Faced with daunting questions regarding a future career, junior Yusra Sannah was struck with an idea.

HOSA, Health Occupations Students of America, is a competition-based club centered around educating students on potential career opportunities in the medical field. Yusra, accompanied by juniors Ayah Ayesh and Caitlin Benitez has brought HOSA to FHC.

“It really resonated with us,” Yusra said. “The idea of a health club was really interesting to me because I didn’t know I wanted to have a career in medicine before I joined Science Olympiad – which is an after-school activity. If we create more of those opportunities [to discover what you’re interested in], people can understand what they want to do and where they want to go; they can feel more in charge rather than being scattered [through] all of high school.”

In order to immerse themselves in the health field, students are given the opportunity to compete in a large array of events. Ranging from physical therapy to veterinary science, students can practice the necessary skills for a selected career in health. Students can also participate in group events, teaming up with their peers to research current topics related to health science or medicine.

“All of the aspects [of events] help you develop your knowledge of healthcare and what [a career] would entail,” Yusra said.

“Not all the events are about health professions,” Ayah added. “Some are life skills that you need for college or other things that follow. It’s not just about developing your knowledge in healthcare, but also about moving you [in the right direction].”

HOSA does provide valuable life skills and insight into health professions, but that doesn’t come without a price. In contrast to other clubs, HOSA requires a large amount of student involvement. Similar to Model UN or DECA, success in HOSA demands practice of the skills learned in order to utilize every tool in the “leadership laboratory,” which is what HOSA is often referred to as.

Implementing HOSA was not all smooth sailing. Although it took a few attempts to find an advisor, FHC science teacher Chad Scholten took the position.

“He’s been great,” Yusra said. “He guided us on what we need to do and how we need to do it, and was there if we ever had any questions or concerns. He’s giving us a chance to practice our own leadership and train ourselves to be better at communicating.”

“He’s [been involved] too,” Caitlin added. “He contacted the KCTC HOSA branch, is giving us recommendations for writing sponsorship letters and gave us contacts for job shadowing.”

The excitement of the trio is matched by Scholten.

“We’ve got great students [participating],” Scholten said. “It is a competition, but I think simply putting it together and participating is already a success. Whether we make it to states or nationals or not, just by them participating, [students] will reap the benefits.”

Of course, students wouldn’t be able to participate without the effort put in from Yusra, Caitlin, and Ayah.

“They’re very organized,” Scholten said. “They’re looking at forty, possibly fifty different students, so they have to lead all those people and plan events. They’re very passionate too; it’s something that they’re interested in and I think that feeds into it. It doesn’t feel like their job, it feels like something that they want to do.”

Scholten, along with Yusra, Ayah, and Caitlin, is excited to see the heights HOSA reaches. With a phenomenal group of students participating paired with excellent leadership, there’s no telling how far HOSA will go.

“We’re just excited to see how it’s going to go,” Ayah said. “We’re all learning together, it’ll be [interesting to see how successful it will be].”