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Five New Mexico Connections Academy Students Qualify for HOSA-Future Health Professionals Internationals After Receiving Accolades at State Leadership Championship

New Mexico Connections Academy is the first online school to establish a HOSA Chapter in the state, demonstrating its commitment to providing high-quality online education that values career and industry exploration

New Mexico Connections Academy, a tuition-free online public school serving students in grades 4-12 across the state for more than 10 years, participated in the HOSA–Future Health Professionals State Leadership Championship on April 11-13, 2024. Five students represented New Mexico Connections Academy at the event, and every student from the online school qualified to compete at the HOSA’s International Leadership Conference, showcasing their exemplary dedication, skill, and knowledge in their respective fields.

HOSA is a career and technical student organization (CTSO) that connects middle and high school students to healthcare careers, and New Mexico Connections Academy is the first virtual school to establish a HOSA Chapter in New Mexico.

Through the school’s local HOSA chapter, students participate in health sciences courses, get hands-on experience in the healthcare industry, learn about growing opportunities in healthcare careers, and meet like-minded students from across the globe through events like the State Leadership Championship. HOSA students develop the skills prioritized by employers, according to Pearson’s Skills Outlook, in leadership, communication and teamwork, as well as technical skills related to specific healthcare careers.

Representing New Mexico Connections Academy’s first HOSA members, the following students earned awards in several categories at the State Leadership Championship:

  • 1st Place, Medical Law & Ethics – Marcos Tapia (Grade 12)
  • 2nd Place, Behavioral Health – Karma Bromwell (Grade 11)
  • 3rd Place, Healthy Living – Vania Aragon (Grade 10)
  • 4th Place, Medical Spelling – Myah Walker (Grade 9)
  • 4th Place, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Karma Bromwell (Grade 11) and Katherine Kim (Grade 10)
  • Barbara James Service Award, Gold Status Recognition (with over 250 hours of community service) – Vania Aragon (Grade 10)

“We are so proud of these students and look forward to cheering them on at HOSA’s International Leadership Conference in June,” said Guadalupe Castillo, New Mexico Connections Academy science teacher and HOSA advisor. “Their commitment is inspiring and we’re grateful for the partnership with HOSA that gives students hands-on experience and opportunities to develop leadership skills. Helping students explore their interests and learn about various career paths, including the healthcare industry, helps ensure New Mexico Connections Academy students are well equipped for their future careers.”

With more than a quarter of a million members in 5,600 middle schools, high schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities in 54 states, territories and countries, and 40,000 registered alumni, HOSA is one of the largest global student-led organizations that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Human and Health Services. New Mexico Connections Academy students participating in HOSA benefit from access to invaluable industry connections, including Fortune 100 healthcare companies, management consulting firms, US government, defense and humanitarian agencies, and top tier medical schools and organizations that serve millions of students and healthcare professionals.

The upcoming HOSA International Leadership Conference will be held in Houston, Texas on June 26-29, 2024, at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Enrollment for the 2024-2025 school year is now open for grades 4-12. Families interested in New Mexico Connections Academy are encouraged to attend an online information session to learn more, ask questions, and discover if virtual school is the right fit for their student. For more information about New Mexico Connections Academy or to begin the enrollment process, please visit http://www.NewMexicoConnectionsAcademy.com or call 1-833-591-0251.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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