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Manteca teens take part in state health conference
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Students had a chance to do a little sight-seeing during their recent stay at the state capital, including the capitol building. - photo by Photo Contributed
Some 2,000 students from throughout the state took part in Health Occupation Students of America’s State Leadership Conference in Sacramento.

Included were four students – Valleri Gammon, Donna Lynn Galiguis, Sandra Boling, and Janae Aldana – in Cheryl Behler’s Occupations in Health Careers classes at Lindbergh Educational Center.

“Just going there was a good experience,” said Galiguis, who is a senior at Sierra High. “We had a chance to see everyone who hopes to someday get a job in the health profession.”

She’s hoping to major in pharmacy perhaps at nearby University of the Pacific. Galiguis has already received a college acceptance letter from the University of California, Davis and also applied at UC Berkeley.

Gammon, who is a senior at Manteca High, already has plans to attend California State University, Stanislaus in the fall. She’s hoping to work as a registered nurse.

At last weekend’s conference held at the Hyatt Regency and the Convention Center, Gammon learned job-seeking skills.

“You have to do a good job of showing yourself,” he said.

HOSA is the premier leadership and training organization for students preparing for careers in the health care professions. This national student organization is endorsed by the US and state Departments of Education and the Association for Career and Technical Education.

Behler, who is a licensed vocational nurse, said that this was the first-ever visit to the state leadership conference by her ROP students.

A grant put together by Lindbergh’s Kathy Ruble with support from Principal Howard Holtsman made the three-day conference possible.

Students were often kept busy with breakout sessions, competition and other activities, according to Behler.

In addition, the local group had a chance to meet Assemblyman Tom Torlakan of the 11th District during a visit to the state capitol building.

Behler is looking forward to take more students to next year’s state leadership event. But rather than a grant, her class, instead, may have to rely on fundraisers to make that return visit.