IR students Cooney, Boyle place at National HOSA Conference
After placing first at the state level, rising Indian River High School seniors Lili Cooney and Katie Boyle went on to place seventh out of the entire nation at the HOSA-Future Health Professionals National Leadership Conference in Florida last week.
“It is a huge deal for Indian River,” said Cooney. “It was our first year ever competing in this competition, and we went and we won first in states, and then we won seventh in the nation.”
The 37th annual competition for HOSA, or Health Occupation Students of America, saw more than 7,000 students from across the nation — including more than 50 from Delaware. The students competed in a variety of categories, including health professions, emergency preparedness, health sciences, teamwork and leadership.
After completing their third year in the Health Professions program at Indian River, Cooney, who aspires to be a doctor, and Boyle, who aspires to be a pediatric nurse, utilized their training at the conference.
“Our first year, we do CPR and we get certified with that, and then our second year is med terminology — we learn how words are put together for the medical field,” Cooney explained of the program. “Our third year, we go out into the field and we do clinicals — we got to work with actual people.”
The girls competed in the health career display competition, in which they put together a five-minute presentation on orthopedic surgeons to present in front of the judges.
“It was friendly, but it wasn’t too friendly, because everybody was very serious about their competition,” Cooney explained.
“It opened my eyes to a new way of learning, through interacting with kids from all over the nation,” Boyle added regarding the experience.
The rest of the state of Delaware also fared well at the conference, as 18 other students placed in the top 10. The students ranged from Indian River and Sussex Central high schools, to larger technical schools, such as St. Georges, Polytech, Hogson Vo. Tech and Sussex Tech.