Nurses, and doctors, and surgeons… oh my

Ansley Melnick, reporter

Kaylie Cofield became the first Cherokee County student to be invited to the International Leadership Conference (ILC) in Dallas, Tx. The Etowah junior got this opportunity by attending State Leadership Conference (SLC) on Mar. 8-10 in Atlanta. Many other Etowah students who are a part of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) attended SLC, as well. However, only students that place in the top three in their category get invited to ILC. 

“I could barely stand up and walk out of the aisle because my legs were shaking so bad, and I was crying. I couldn’t believe I actually did it and all the stress and hard work paid off,” Cofield said. 

Cofield made a scrapbook of all the accomplishments that Etowah HOSA has had this school year. She included pictures and descriptions of all the projects and community service opportunities HOSA participated in. For example, she included photos from HOSA meetings, blood drives, and events where students volunteered. 

“I worked on my project every morning before school and skipped lunch every day since December to work on it. I left my house at 6:30 every day to get here by 7:00, so I could work on it as much as possible,” Cofield said.  

Students have been preparing for SLC competitions for seven months. Some students prepared speeches about different healthcare-related topics; some wrote papers; others took terminology and healthcare tests, and some competed in different healthcare career simulations.  

“It is beneficial for students to attend and compete in HOSA conferences because it gives them an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills that they learn in the healthcare classroom,” Megan King, healthcare teacher, said. 

Over 4,200 members, advisors, and guests attended SLC, making it the largest HOSA conference in the world.