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Manteca students perform well at HOSA conference
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From left, Alan Doa displays his silver medal earned at the Cal-HOSA State Leadership Conference. He’s joined by Allison Smith and Ashley Serna. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
A year ago, local students of Health Occupation Students of America were spectators at the state leadership conference.

This year, they were active participants.

At the 23rd annual Cal-HOSA State Leadership event held last weekend in Ontario, advisors Cheryl Behler and Greg Conway brought 19 members – most from Behler’s Regional Occupation Program at Lindbergh Educational Center – to the two-day event.

The results were impressive, with members from the local chapter accounting for eight top 10 finishes in the various categories.

“We knew what to expect after watching from the sidelines a year ago,” Behler said last Tuesday.

Of that, three members placed in the top five, thus, qualifying for the national HOSA event scheduled for June in Orlando, Fla.

“We’re hoping to take all 19 so they can experience what goes on at the national level,” said Behler, who is estimating the cost at $700 per student, covering both air fares and hotel accommodations.

She hopes that these expenses can be defrayed via sponsorships from local folks and businesses.

At the state leadership conference, Alan Dao led the local group, receiving a silver medal by taking second place in prepared speaking.

“My classmates played a big part,” he said. “I read my speech aloud to them and they helped me perfect it.”

Allison Smith took fourth place in extemporaneous writing while Chandler Rose was fifth in extemporaneous poster.

She used a tie-dye design on her H1N1 poster, using markers, pencils, and pastels.

“We had three hours to get it done,” Rose said.

Added Smith, “There were a lot of people (at the conference) competing for the same job,” she said.

All told, Behler estimated the attendance at 3,200.

Cory Anderson finished in the top 10 in extemporaneous speaking; Ashley Serna and Morgan Rouse did likewise in job-seeking skills; and Michael Penn was top 10 in medical math, extemporaneous writing, and in the top 25 percent in the Kaiser Permanente Health Issue exam.

In addition, Erica Candido, for her essay, earned a $500 scholarship.

As for the national event, Dao said, “We’re looking forward to representing Manteca.”

Information on becoming a sponsor can be obtained by contacting Behler at (209) 858-7330, ext. 56625.