HOSA ILC participants share their experiences at such a vital competition!

Emily Chang (12)

How did it feel to be recognized by the HLPUSD board for your success in the ILC competition?

“I was really surprised! I didn’t know that the district did award recognition so it was a pleasant surprise.”

In what ways has HOSA helped you in your academic career throughout high school?

“HOSA has opened so many opportunities for me. Being able to compete at Texas was definitely on my to-do list junior year. I was also able to explore medical fields I was interested in and engage in a lot of community service.”

As a senior, what are you looking forward to this year outside and inside of HOSA?

“In HOSA, I am looking forward to growing the chapter for HOSA members. Outside of HOSA, I’m looking forward to a strong Science Olympiad season and enjoying my last year of high school.”

Who inspires you the most and why?

“My friends from last year who have now graduated. They motivated me to keep performing at my best.”

Was this your first year you have been to ILC?

“This was my first year at ILC!”

For you, what is it like to qualify for ILC?

“I was really shocked during the award ceremony. Since it was my first year competing in HOSA, I wasn’t expecting to place first at state.”

Was it exciting to visit Dallas, Texas?

“Despite the hot weather, all the locations we visited, such as Six Flags and horseback riding, were very fun.”

What was the best part of getting to experience ILC?

“The best part of ILC was placing first and second during the award ceremony.”

Josephine Tsai (11)

For those who don’t know, what is Hosa ILC?

“The HOSA ILC stands for Health Occupation Students of America International Leadership Conference. ILC is the final stage of HOSA competitive events where the top 3 students or groups from a certain competitive event in the state leadership conference go to the international leadership conference. HOSA ILC is a fun experience but also a competitive experience to learn and grow!”

What was the process in qualifying for ILC?

“The process for qualifying for ILC starts from the very beginning, which is RCE, regional competitive events. After passing RCE, students advance to the next stage, SLC, the state leadership conference where HOSA students from our state, California all compete to get top three to advance to ILC, the international leadership conference.”

What would you say was your favorite part of the experience?

“My favorite part of the experience was definitely meeting HOSA students from all across the states and countries such as China and Korea. I loved trading my state pins with other student’s state pins.”

What did you specifically compete for at ILC?

“My team and I competed in medical innovation where we made a medical innovation device called BrainBuds which prevents epileptic patients from getting serious injuries or death by alerting them beforehand.”

What was your thought process like when you found out you qualified for ILC?

“During the state leadership conference, my friends and I didn’t even think we would make it to first place in Medical Innovations. During the award ceremony, we were so nervous thinking about ‘what if we didn’t make it.’ However, we were so happy when they called us onto the stage and were even happier when they announced that we were in first place. That night, we went back to our hotel room happily blasting the song ‘We Are The Champions’ in our hotel room.”

Since the competition was hosted in Dallas, Texas, did you get to explore the area at all?

“Yes! We got a car and went around downtown Dallas, Texas. We went to a zoo and aquarium, botanical garden, restaurants, and shopping centers! It was overall a fun experience to travel around with my friends and experience ILC together.”

How would you describe ILC in one word and why?

“I would describe ILC as interconnected, as I met many people from different states and countries and was connected with them through HOSA!”

Personally, how has HOSA opened doors of opportunity for you?

“HOSA has led me to decide what medical career might be the best for me in the near future. HOSA has provided me with advanced experience in the medical field besides biomedical classes. I had fun and learned a lot during my years at HOSA.”

Luna Liang (11)

Would you say that ILC was more challenging than other competitions?

“Definitely! Especially for our event, where we got to see everyone else’s displays next to ours and getting to see how much effort everyone put in. it truly felt different from competing at states.”

What did ILC consist of for you?

“ ILC consisted of a lot of going to try new foods around Dallas, fun activities (we visited the local farmers market, arboretum, etc.), and it was a total blast! I personally enjoyed the convention center fair as well, where i got to meet engineers at Biorad and went through a fun DNA lab with them.”

What would you rate the experience out of 10 and why?

“10 out of 10 definitely! Getting to travel so far from home with my closest friends was unreal, and I can’t wait to do it all over again this year”

Did it feel nerve wracking at all while you were competing against fellow highly educated participants?

“For our competition, multiple groups presented at once, and that really got me anxious. I remember one section of my speech, where I had to demonstrate our device. I almost slipped up because I heard a team say something similar to what I was going to say and I freaked out for a second. but thankfully, I managed to continue the speech as normal.”

If you could go back, what would you change about your decisions at ILC?

“Although my team and I did not place, I don’t think I would change anything I did at ILC. Sure, we could have spent more time practicing before we competed, and sure, we could’ve prepared better, but I believe we did the best we could for what we had.”

What was it like being recognized for your hard work by the board?

“I was really grateful for our hard work to be recognized somehow. I know my entire team was really disappointed, and for some time it felt like all the work we poured into preparations was for nothing, but we realized it was an opportunity for a learning experience, and getting recognized by the district just made it better.”

For people who are hesitant to join HOSA, what advice would you give to maneuver their minds to the right choice?

“HOSA really encompasses everything, even for people who don’t know if they want to go into healthcare. Being in HOSA has helped me develop into a better leader, and competing in my event (medical innovations) was my main inspiration into deciding to pursue biomedical engineering in the future. So if you’re hesitant, give it a try— that is what I did for my event, and look where that got us!”

How has Hosa helped shape you as a person?

“HOSA helped me become a more assertive and outgoing leader, and helped me find my passion and future career goals.”

What are you looking forward to this year as the Vice President of HOSA?

“This is my first major leadership role, and I cannot wait to bring everything I envisioned about HOSA into reality. I am so grateful for the opportunity, and I can already see big things planned for the future of HOSA.”

Anna Zhong (11)

Would you say that ILC was more challenging than other competitions?

“Personally I think ILC is a lot more challenging than the other events that I have attended because you are not just competing against people in your community or state but against thousands of other people from all around the world including China, Canada, Korea, and other US states.”

What did ILC consist of for you?

“ILC consisted not only of the competition but also the fun of meeting new people, seeking college and career advice, and getting to explore the area with my teammates and friends.”

What would you rate the experience out of  10 and why?

“Out of 10 I would definitely rate my experience a

10. The days I spent there I’ve had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends whether that was in the conference center or in the hotel. I also really enjoyed pin trading with people of other states and countries, I feel like it was a great socializing opportunity for me. Everyone was also super nice and supportive.”

Did it feel nerve wracking at all while you were competing against fellow highly educated participants?

“I would say it was definitely nerve racking to be competing with so many other people but because I was competing in a team event, my teammates helped to reassure, support, and hype each other up.”

         If you could go back, what would you change about your decisions at ILC?

“If I could go back, I would spend less time in the hotel room and explore more of Dallas and attend even more workshops.”

What was it like being recognized for your hard work by the board?

“I felt really honored to be recognized by the board and I’m extremely proud of all of the ILC crew for making it this far.”

For people who are hesitant to join HOSA, what advice would you give to maneuver their minds to the right choice?

“I’d say that for anyone interested in the medical field, HOSA is the right place for you to go. Not only does it have in-person competitions in the state and international level, but it also is a great opportunity for you to further explore your interests. HOSA hosts many field trips to colleges and provides members with programs to help them better prepare for college and has great opportunities to earn service hours. Besides all of that, I am sure you will have lots of fun in HOSA.”

How has Hosa helped shape you as a person?

“HOSA with its large team and its many workshops and activities has shaped me into a more experienced and socially confident person. Being able to talk to professionals and people of other cultures really opened my viewpoints and helped prepare me for my career beyond high school.”

Hedy Yang (11)

How would you describe the ILC experience in three words and why?

“Fun, stress and new. “I would say fun because we went to a lot of sightseeing places as well as ate a lot of good food. I also was with good friends so it was super enjoyable. [I would also say it was stressful]because while having fun we still had to prepare for competition. We also ran into mishaps, such as part of our exhibit falling off in which we had to quickly repair it. [It was new] because it was our first time competing nationally. I personally have never been to Texas so it took some getting used to.”

If you could go back in time and change one thing that you did during the competition, what would it be?

“If I could go back in time and change one thing I did during the competition, I wish I was able to answer more in depth. After our presentation the judges would ask questions, and I only realized after answering that I could have said more.”

Other than the competition, what were some things you did while you were in Dallas, Texas?

“Other than the competition, as mentioned before, we did a lot of sightseeing. We explored a beautiful botanical garden, swam in the hotel pool, looked at animals and plants at a large indoor aquarium, browsed at HOSA official merch store and even shopped at the mall. Not to mention the many restaurants we went to, such as the classic Texas Barbecue.”

What do HOSA competitions usually consist of?

“There are mainly two kinds of HOSA competitions: the red study events and the blue presentation or action events. For the red study events, it is usually test based and requires a lot of studying. The blue events vary, such as some requiring videos and presentations while others require hands-on laboratory testing.”

What was the most memorable part about ILC?

“The most memorable part about ILC was going on a plane ride and staying in a hotel with my friends. We had previously talked about how fun it would be if we went on vacation together. When this opportunity came up, it was perfect.”

Do you have anything that you are specifically looking forward to this year in HOSA?

“This year I am once again looking forward to SLC and ILC. SLC will be at a different location this year, so I am excited to see what that area will offer in terms of entertainment and food. ILC will also be a different location this year. I am also going to do a different competition event, so that will be interesting.”

What is a piece of advice you would give your freshman self?

“A piece of advice I would give my freshman self would have been to study harder. As I just came into high school, I wasn’t really passionate about HOSA and treated SLC as just a fun experience with friends. But when I stepped into the convention center for competition, it made me realize I actually want to win.”

What did you specifically do at the ILC competition?

“At the ILC competition, our team was competing for the Medical Innovation event. We made a prototype for an in-ear EEG device called BrainBuds that will detect seizure activity and send out warnings to friends, family, and the hospital. We were required to submit a video presentation beforehand and prepare a presentation exhibit for the actual competition. Our exhibit was a printed tri fold with information on the research along with previous prototypes and other items that will help showcase our product. There were two rounds: the first round being all the groups displaying their exhibit and innovation to passerby, and the second round being an individual grading from judges. All that’s left is to wait for results at the award ceremony.”

Was it anxiety inducing at all to be around so many other competitive schools?

“It was pretty anxiety-inducing to be around so many other competitive schools, especially since there are people from all over the world. However, it was also pretty inspiring seeing everyone gathered here to compete.”


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