HOSA students earn awards in region competition


Mackenzie Olmstead and Clarissa Rose

On Dec. 19, 2020, Health Occupation Students of America competed in the first ever virtual regional competition. The regional conference was held on the popular media platform YouTube due to the circumstances caused by COVID-19, much different than a usual in-person event in but going virtual is now a common method during these times.
65 Utica High students were in attendance for the virtual competition. Students were required to test virtually and told to upload documents and videos specific to their individual events.
Nervous about competing virtually, senior Caitlyn Wagner said she wasn’t sure what to expect. She was given the topic of whether or not technology helps us to become more or less connected, and had a task to upload a research document covering the subject.
“I was very nervous going into the competition since it was all virtual this year,” Wagner said. “I’m happy I ended up getting second place, despite the challenge of having a virtual competition.”
Wagner’s topic was in Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking, and the second place award was announced to her through a YouTube video.
Senior Sarah Lorenzo competed in the Medical Spelling Competition event of HOSA, also taking second place in the category.
Lorenzo said she is eager to move on to the next phase of competition, she also placed second in her event.
“I’m sad that states will be online, because it was supposed to be in Traverse City,” Lorenzo said. “It’s so pretty up there so I wish we could have gone.”
Out of the 65 Utica High students in attendance, 51 placed in the top six, which has earned them the invitation to now compete at the pending State Leadership Conference in late April 2021.
If COVID-19 will allow it, the conference will be held in Traverse City at the Grand Traverse Resort.
Additionally, five students who placed in the top 10 in their events were also recognized during the Virtual Awards Ceremony.