CHS HOSA State Conference

Ria Sharma journeys to Indianapolis to receive title of President Elect of HOSA


Sarah Sahli, Features Editor

Chesterton High Schools HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), the largest student-led healthcare organization in America, was started by junior Ria Sharma in 2021. Sharma’s desire to introduce the club to Chesterton High School began during her freshman year. 

     “My freshman year I was taking a PLTW class called Principals of Biomedical Sciences. During the pandemic, I was continuing this class virtually and this sparked my interest in the healthcare field. I realized that CHS does not have a healthcare-based club so I did some research and HOSA intrigued me the most,” Sharma explains. 

Nearing the end of each school year, HOSA holds a State Leadership Conference. Sharma, new to HOSA, did not know what to expect when entering the conference. State officials organized activities such as escape rooms, a roller rink, and an abundance of different foods were offered. At the event, there were elections held for each of the following positions.

  • Historian: an individual who captures all the memories and handles social media
  • Treasurer: an individual who keeps track of the budget and accounts
  • Parliamentarian: an individual who is in charge of all the rules and regulations needed to successfully run a meeting
  • Secretary: an individual who will keep track of the minutes of the meetings and prepares all the documents
  • Vice president: an individual who will assist the president in all leadership functions
  • President: an individual who will conduct the meeting and lead the Chapter with the help of the advisors. 

     “This was my very first HOSA conference and I had gone alone from CHS. No one was physically there with me for the support I needed at the time so it was very challenging to get through some of the events. Going against other people in state office also meant competition, so I also had to give my absolute best in anything that was a deciding factor for state officers,” Sharma continues.

Sharma entered the conference motivated to receive the title of president-elect of HOSA in Indiana. The process of determining which representatives of the 50 schools would enter the election process for president was rigorous. 

“We had to submit an online application which first determined if we met the criteria or not. If we did, we would be interviewed, and based on the interview we would be slated into office. That is when the campaigning begins. We deliver campaign speeches and answer any questions that the voting delegation may have. Then the voting delegates will elect which will then be announced at the general session,” she says. 

However, the HOSA 2022 conference did not follow the traditional election process. The officials of the program were stunned by Sharma’s high school career, academic achievements, and spokesman abilities and they wanted her to be the official leader of HOSA during the 2022-2023 school year. With this in mind, the HOSA officials ensured she would run for the role of president of HOSA unopposed. Sharma then presented a speech consisting of her challenges, ideas, motivations, and gratefulness for the club and received the title of President-Elect of HOSA in Indiana.

Additionally, Sharma’s qualifications resulted in her receiving first place in Medical Law and Ethics and she has presented a $12,000 scholarship from Sullivan University. 

“It feels unreal. Going into the conference, I did not know what to expect. Now seeing and feeling the outcome, I can say that one should not fear rejection. It only can hold one back,” Sharma concludes.