JENNERSVILLE — Four students from the Technical College High School (TCHS) Pennock’s Bridge Campus recently competed in the Health Occupation Students of America’s (HOSA) National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. Over 7,000 students from around the country attended the conference and participated in a variety of competitive events. TCHS student Glendalis Guadarrama placed second in the nation in the Nursing Assisting category, while Kira Griffith finished in the top ten in the Medical Assisting category.
The 2014 conference theme was The Future Starts Now. Conference activities included general sessions, leadership and networking events, educational symposiums and over 40 different competitive events. At the national level, secondary students competed in health sciences, health professions, emergency preparedness, leadership and teamwork.
In the Nursing Assisting category, Glendalis Guadarrama put her skills to the test against 80 other students and finished second in the nation. Guadarrama graduated from Avon Grove High School in June and completed three years in the Health Occupations program at TCHS Pennock’s Bridge Campus. One of her teachers, Anne Marie McCauley, encouraged her to enter the program and participate in HOSA. “Glendalis is an outstanding student who always puts much time and preparation into her studies,” McCauley said. “This is her second national medal and she has always been a wonderful representative of the Health Occupations program at TCHS Pennock’s Bridge.” Last year, Guadarrama also competed nationally and earned third place in the Home Health Aid category.
Kira Griffith, a rising senior from Octarara High School, was the only Pennsylvania student to become a finalist in the Medical Assisting contest. Sixty-four other students competed in this category. “Kira works diligently at everything she does,” McCauley praised. “Even though this was her first year competing in the national competition, she was able to place in the top 10 in the nation on her first try, which is reflective of all of her hard work.” Griffith recently completed her second year in the Health Occupations program.
To compete, both Guadarrama and Griffith participated in a written test designed to evaluate their knowledge in their chosen subject matter. To prepare, the students read and studied the required readings and practiced potential skills for the second round of the competition. The students with the top scores on the written test advanced to the second round of the contest and performed a skill related to the competitive subject.
Guadarrama acknowledged that the contest was a lot of work, but was definitely worth it. She said that HOSA “motivates you to do better in your skills and shows you what you are capable of.”