What is SLC?


Haley Laitinen, Reporter

Each year students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine join the Esperanza Medical academy where they develop leadership, professional, and medical skills. An organization which many medical students are affiliated with is HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America). Additionally, students in this organization have the opportunity to attend an annual State Leadership Conference (aka SLC). 


Future Health professionals from all over the state of California have the opportunity to attend the State Leadership Conference. A group of “over 4,000 members, advisors, and industry partners come together for inspirational speakers, leadership workshops, professional development, career guidance, and to give it their all at this culmination of another successful California HOSA year” (cal-hosa.org). It is a chance for medical students to meet others with similar interests from many different cities in California, and further develop their knowledge of a health related topic of their choice. Julia Chan, senior, expresses that “SLC is such a great opportunity to expand one’s knowledge about a subject (especially around medicine and the healthcare field), work together as a team, and meet new people throughout the state.” In addition to new friendships, students learn a variety of new skills which are helpful now and in the future. Aklile Tewodrose compliments Chan’s words in suggesting that her group “decid[ed] to be involved in SLC, not only because of [their] commitment, but also because of [their] love to the community!” This conference is the perfect opportunity to become involved and have something to share with like-minded individuals across the state of California.


One group of seniors this year chose to present on the topic of ‘Life Threatening Advertising’ related to health products presented throughout America. Tewodrose mentions that her group “wanted to spread awareness on things that are not talked about as much as they should be, which is the dangers of advertisements.” She wants to encourage other students to share information regarding the harmful effects of putting forth trust in an advertising company. Competing in the subject of Nutrition, Chan shares that she and a few others participating in the “Nutrition competitive event, arrange fun but productive study sessions.” This opportunity allows students to connect with others within the school who also have similar interests to study certain subject matters. 


Chan and Tewodrose both have a goal to place in the conference, although it can be very challenging. Julia mentions, “My goal for the conference is mainly to expand my knowledge through my competitive event but also to meet inspiring people when we go to Long Beach.” Occurring in March of this year, students from the HOSA academy will commute to Long Beach in order to compete in their specific events. Tewodrose finalizes her commitment by stating that “win or lose, just attending SLC and speaking to others on research is a privilege on its own.” These two seniors want to leave the conference not only feeling inspired, but also confident in their ability to open the minds of others to what they have to share. 


Overall, the State Leadership Conference occurring this year will be something to look forward to for the participants in the HOSA academy! It will leave many feeling impacted with a new perspective on unique topics. Furthermore, this conference will allow innovative thinkers to add new insights to health related matters. Through educating and spreading awareness, SLC will prepare health professionals for the exciting future ahead of them.