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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

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Anna Gibson 26
Anna Gibson
FOJ Intern

(She/her) Anna Gibson is currently a sophomore and this is her first year as a FOJ intern. Anna loves to play volleyball and hang out with her friends

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At state, seven HOSA members qualify for nationals

West’s chapter of Health Occupation Students of America attended the state competition over the weekend. Even though it’s their first year, the club did extremely well, qualifying seven members for nationals.
Waad Dafalla ’26, Wesal Haroun ’24, Serene Hamzeh ’24, Minna Abdalla ’26 and Akshethaa Naveen-Kumar ’24 with their medals.

Last weekend, West’s chapter of HOSA went to state for the first time. 

At 5 a.m. on March 3, members arrived at West to go to Drake University in Des Moines. In addition to competing, members attended workshops with speakers and a career fair. One of the highlights for club leader Wesal Haroun ’24 was using VR to simulate working in the field, in this case, trying to cure soldiers.

The competition consists of taking written tests, hands-on activities or presentations, and occasionally a combination of the three. Members participated in events such as general chemistry, behavioral health and prepared speaking.

Club members did very well; out of the nine who attended, eight placed, with four members receiving at least one first-place award.

“Going to the award ceremony and seeing everybody walk on the stage was very rewarding. I felt like we accomplished something really big, considering that we were new and a very small chapter,” Haroun said.

To go to nationals, one needs to place in the top three, meaning seven members qualified. Haroun didn’t realize so many members would make it, and now she has to do some planning. 

“At first like we were like, ‘we’re not gonna go nationals if anyone makes it to state.’ But everybody except for two can go to Nationals. So like now we have to think about fundraising and if it’s possible for us to go because we were going into this thinking that [only] one or two of us were going to make it,” Haroun said.

Nationals, officially called the International Leadership Conference, will be in Dallas in late June. Until then, members that qualified will start studying, and decisions about nationals will be made. Haroun plans to discuss with advisor Andrea Harms and decide if the chapter will attend nationals by the end of the month.

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Evelyn Kraber, Assistant Copy Editor
(She/they) Evelyn is a sophomore, and this is her first year on staff. She is the assistant copy editor for the website. In her free time, you could find her reading, baking, playing cello, painting or spending time with her family.
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