Along with support from the Missouri Foundation for Health, NEMO AHEC was able to provide summer scholarships for students participating in health career & science enrichment opportunities during their summer. In return, they each wrote up a reflection on their experience — enjoy!
Author: Natalie from Green City
I am so thankful to have received the opportunity to attend this year’s National HOSA Conference. I enjoyed competing, touring the Disney parks, and making memories with the new friends I gained throughout my experience. Since I was the only one who qualified from my school, I was able to share this opportunity with my family as well.
When our flight first landed in Orlando, I was so excited. Disney’s Magical Express picked us up and took us to the All Star Sports resort, one of the overflow hotels for the convention. The staff was so helpful, and I learned quickly that Walt Disney World was a well-oiled machine. Magic Kingdom was the first park we went to, and the Cinderella’s castle is much bigger than it seems on TV. We rode a few rides, watched the fireworks display around the castle at night and mostly walked through the different sections of the park in amazement. I remember feeling like I was in a totally different world while I was there. I also toured other Disney parks including Epcot and Animal Kingdom. These two were my favorite. From touring the World Showcase at Epcot, to going on an African Safari in Animal Kingdom, it was definitely an amazing time.
The night of the opening ceremony was an eye opening experience for me. I did not realize how large the HOSA organization was until I saw representation from almost all 50 states. Everyone was so pumped and excited that it was contagious. Each state had something to represent them as well. For example, Wisconsin had cheese heads, and they gave the Missouri competitors glow sticks. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Michio Kaku, and it was very interesting to hear his insights on the future of healthcare. That night was probably one of my favorite memories from the entire trip.
I would definitely encourage all HOSA members to try and go to the National Leadership Conference at least once before they graduate from high school.
Funding for this project was provided in part by the Missouri Foundation for Health, a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves.