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Midvale Journal

Three Hillcrest High students crowned state HOSA champions, six qualify for internationals

Jun 02, 2023 11:49AM ● By Julie Slama

Hillcrest High seniors Kalli Van Dijk and Sowmya Paritala recently took the state title in the health education contest while sophomore Miles Vlam was named champion in medical reading.

The three students qualified for the international leadership conference, which will be held June 19-25 in Dallas.

Also qualifying for internationals are Hillcrest senior Taylor Simpson, who finished second in pathophysiology and sophomore Aditya Mole and junior Aarnav Kandukuri, who placed second in forensic science.

Hillcrest High had 60 students of its 120-member chapter compete at the March 16-17 state HOSA contest in more than 60 different events that tested their ability in teamwork, health science knowledge, presentation skills, reading comprehension and practical skills. 

HOSA-future health professionals is a global student-led organization whose mission is to promote career opportunities in the health industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. Utah has more than 4,000 members with about 90 chapters.

At the state ceremony, students also took part in leadership seminars and educational symposiums. 

“The opening speaker, Jason Hewlett, was really inspirational about how best to succeed,” said Hillcrest High HOSA student president Aryanna Hinckley. “There were interactive exhibits and booths with information about colleges and internships which were helpful for students interested in pursuing health education as a career.”

Hinckley, who has led Hillcrest’s HOSA chapter and has increased its membership by 50 students from last year, said that through different activities, she has learned how to communicate to her peers and others in the community and collaborate with other people to gain leadership experience.

This year, the chapter has served the community through a new sock drive for those in need to holding blood drives.

“We held a blood drive on Veterans Day, to honor their service and show our support of those who have served and are serving. We had 100 people sign up to give. We also had one around Valentine’s Day as a way people can show their love to others,” Hinckley said.

Through the organization, she has met students from other schools who have a similar interest in health science as well as bonded with others at her own school.

“As president, I’ve made good friends with other officers and we’ve become a family as we’ve supported each other in HOSA and in other parts of school this year,” said Hinckley, who, along with other chapter veterans, mentored younger students for the competitive events.

Hinckley placed fourth in organizational leadership at state.

Other Hillcrest fourth-place state finishers include: Van Dijk, dental terminology; senior Saee Ashtaputre, medical law and ethics; senior Jose Sanchez, health career photography; sophomore Summer Rees, human growth and development; and senior Swetha Iyer, researched persuasive writing and speaking.

Juniors Aneeka Patel and Carolina Potter placed fifth in mental health promotion.

Sixth-place finishes went to sophomores Kyli Tsao, Emily Yi and Kimi Mavaddat in public health; junior Anthony Hsu in researched persuasive writing and speaking; sophomore Nidhi Choudhari and senior Richa Zodge in health career display; freshman Angad Singh, junior Manav Singh, junior Sanjana Mahate and Zodge in medical innovation; and junior Maya Barnes in pathophysiology.

Junior Neal Chavan in behavioral health and freshman Sathwick Boya in physical therapy earned seventh-place honors.

Eighth-place awards went to sophomore Aarav Gore, Chavan, Hsu and Manav Singh in biomedical debate; freshman Samhita Chavakula in pharmacology; and Mahate in medical law and ethics.

Rounding out the top 10 were freshman Om Sanghvi, ninth, medical math; junior Edward Loh, sophomore Seojun Lee and junior Acintya Sai Yoganath, ninth, creative problem solving; Boya, ninth, epidemiology; seniors Vivia Wahlquist, Ashtyn McVey, Lukas Rohde and Katherina Lemoine, ninth, health education; sophomore Sai Rishika Pandiri, ninth, health career photography; junior Daniel Davies, 10th, sports medicine; and Simpson, 10th, medical spelling.   λ