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Lahainaluna students attend 2019 International Leadership Conference

By Staff | Aug 1, 2019

Lahainaluna High School students, including (from left) Kaila Wilkinson, Jacqueline Nguyen and Trinity Belmont, competed in the HOSA International Leadership Conference in June.

LAHAINA – This past June, I attended the HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America, Future Health Professionals) International Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida with four of my Lahainaluna High School teammates.

My teammates included?Caitlin Baclay (Human Growth and Development), Trinity Belmont (Physical Therapy), Chelsea Adovas (Extemporaneous Health Poster) and Jacqueline Nguyen (Dental Terminology).

I earned this trip by qualifying in the Veterinary Science event at the district competition at Baldwin High School this past December, then advancing at the State Conference on Oahu in February. This was my first time attending the ILC.

This experience provided me with the opportunity to network, learn more healthcare and leadership content through symposiums and workshops, and the level of discipline needed to compete at such an extensive level.

In my opinion, experience is imperative in healthcare. Without experience, it’s hard to know the most effective solution to problems that can be translated to diagnosing and treating patients.

While preparing for my event, I learned so many things about a prospective career for me. The symposiums and expositions at ILC gave competitors an opportunity to network with professional organizations and colleges that may benefit our futures.

Attending an international conference is a great experience. It allows students to develop professional skills, meet new people and see new things.

While preparing for events, we all learned new information that will help us pursue a career in the medical field.

Competing in the Veterinary Science event encouraged me to reach out to my mentor, Dr. Kim, and find an internship at the Maui Humane Society.

My internship will help me immensely in the years to come. The text resources alongside the pressure and time utilized for preparing for this event put me ahead of my future competition who did not have this opportunity.

Some symposiums I attended at ILC went more in depth with anatomy through clay modeling, and I also learned how to prepare myself to get into medical school. I learned it is not only about grades, but it is also about experience. In the expositions, we met college representatives and professional organizations that we may be in touch with in the future.

When we were taking breaks from the conference, we enjoyed time at Gatorland, Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney Springs, and shopping at the Mall of Florida. For some of us, it was the first time travelling to the other side of the country, so most of the activities we did were firsts.

Overall, this trip taught all of us lessons and put us one step further in our healthcare journey. My future plans are to attend Vancouver Island University, where I would like to start a HOSA chapter using the leadership skills I learned during HOSA. After undergrad, I plan on either going to the University of Toronto for medical school or UC Davis for veterinary school.

Thanks to the Health Services Pathway and HOSA, I’m confident that I look forward to continuing my path towards health care.