Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Early College High School will be sending twelve Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) Future Health Professionals to the State HOSA Competition. The HOSA students will compete against the top students in the state in their respective categories at the state competition in Round Rock, Texas March 28-30.

At the state competition, students will have the opportunity to compete in events that are specific to their health profession interests. CECHS HOSA members will participate in competitive events that highlight their abilities within various categories including health science, health professions, emergency preparedness, leadership, teamwork, and recognition. 

There are 163 HOSA chapters in Area 7 with about 1500 competing members. Only the top three students from every event in the states seven areas advance to the state competition. So, these students are part of an elite group of the top 21 students in the State of Texas in each event. 

“I am extremely proud of the students who placed at the Area 7 competition and are advancing to state. Our HOSA students have put in a lot of time and effort in preparing for competition,” said Mandee Walker, CECHS Health Science teacher and HOSA sponsor. “It is awesome to see their diligence pay off. These students are exceptionally deserving of this opportunity, and I am excited to see them excel in their respective events.”  

The following students placed and advanced to the state competition. Alejandro Trejo, 1st place Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking; Jessica Contreras, 1st place Veterinary Science; Dayanara Ibarra, 1st place Life Support Skills; Andrea Ramirez & Mia Zamora, 1st place Forensic Science; Tanya Bustos & Ashlee Mata, 2nd place Forensic Science; Nicole Marin, 2nd place Physical Therapy; Diego Argil Gutierrez, 2nd place Clinical Nursing; Diego Gonzalez, 2nd place Medical Assisting; Gregorio Carrillo, 3rd place Pharmacology; and Ariel Vega, 3rd place Medical Assisting.

Alejandro Trejo, a senior at Martin High School and President of the CECHS HOSA Chapter, who was a state alternate for medical spelling last year, will be attending the State Competition for the first time. 

“To say the least, I am ecstatic. Being an alternate the previous year with a transition to a first-place state qualifying spot in my category, Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking, feels surreal- it is something that I would not have imagined for myself earlier this year,” said Trejo. “South Texas is home to some of the best speakers and debaters in all of Texas, so it feels otherworldly to be ranked first in a speaking event among these individuals, largely since this is my first year competing in this event.”

In Trejo’s opinion, advancing many members to the State level brings good exposure to CECHS. “Aside from the recognition that students gain, there is recognition that the school gains as well. With the many advancements that we had this year (all with one HOSA Chapter at that), it is becoming greatly apparent that CECHS is growing as one of the premier health science schools in South Texas,” said Trejo. “With that in mind, I believe that our growing number of state competitors will urge parents to send their children to CECHS, further increasing the same brilliant minds that saturate our school. Ultimately, advancing so many of our members to State will create a more cohesive environment of like-minded individuals in the future cohorts of students to come.” 

“HOSA gives our students the chance to develop important skills to become leaders in health professions,” said Walker. “These skills include teamwork, communication, interpersonal skills, responsibility, and character.” 

“The students will be exposed to top level competition and have the opportunity to showcase the knowledge of their events,” said Walker. “It is a great networking opportunity, because not only are other high schools in attendance, but colleges and universities as well. These students will build relationships and create memories that will last a lifetime.” 

Trejo hopes that he and his classmates can network themselves in the healthcare field through the various informational booths and the plethora of healthcare professionals that will attend the State Leadership Conference. 

“I would love to advance to nationals, but more than anything, I would like to engage myself with other like-minded individuals who hope to make an impact on the healthcare field. Making nationals would just be the cherry on top of this whole experience, as I am fortunate enough to even have made it this far,” said Trejo. “I would also like to gain the experience of competing at the state level in something other than music, as I have previously only competed for state organizations in Band. Finally, I hope to gain a more profound understanding of what it means to be a healthcare professional in this ever-changing field.”