The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School


The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School



PPCHS HOSA takes the main stage at the regional Winter Leadership Conference


The auditorium’s front rows rumble as PPCHS students stomp their feet, clap their hands, and raise their voices in support of their fellow HOSA members, who take the stage fresh off their win in the Top 5 of their competitive event. “CHARTER SWEEP!” rang through the atmosphere as member after member took their spotlight, the words not only being used as cheers, but as a manifestation of PPCHS’s domination in the region.

On Saturday, February 10, PPCHS HOSA Future Health Professionals (HOSA FHP) members took their passion for medicine all the way to the Sunrise Region Winter Leadership Conference, where they competed against hundreds of other students in dozens of health-related events. 

From 7:30 AM onwards, suits and scrubs filled the buildings of American Heritage School in Plantation, students practicing speeches and running through medical procedures in their heads for the last time. Despite months of preparation and mock presentations, adrenaline couldn’t help but run high as all members were only one step away from getting to the state conference—as long as members placed in the Top 3 of their respective events, they secured a spot to compete at states.

The nerve-wracking wait was only prolonged as each member headed off to their separate holding rooms, where all the students in one event waited for their turn to present. While some were able to get their events done quickly, others, like senior Nathan Josue, had to wait hours. His team was one of the last to compete for the Health Education event. “I remember my heart skipping a beat each time the volunteer who would call the next group would come into the waiting room, only for us not to be called,” he explains. Although tension filled these rooms, there still existed a sense of support from one aspiring healthcare worker to another. Nathan explains, “Something that I really enjoyed that I’ve only seen done at this competitive event was clapping for the team going next, as if we were cheering them on.”

For the next three hours, HOSA members were judged, scored, and placed in comparison to students from other schools. With over twenty different competitive events, the conference consisted of different processes for everyone, from speeches and oral presentations to live tests and skill performances. Events ranged from broader topics like Community Awareness and Creative Problem Solving, to particular ones like Parliamentary Procedure and Sports Medicine.

Once noontime hit and all competitions were over, students were given two hours of free time—a time mostly used to eat lunch, explore the campus, and mingle with fellow HOSA members. American Heritage provided food trucks for attendees to indulge in, and plenty of area to adventure in. Freshman Nusaybah Arif found lunch to be one of the most enjoyable moments, exclaiming that “that’s where me and my friends hung out the most and had fun!”

As the conference began to draw to a close, all students gathered in the campus auditorium for the awards ceremony. With almost every seat occupied by future health professionals, the atmosphere held a certain feeling of pride and hope—carried not only by the students, but also by the present parents, HOSA advisors, and HOSA regional and state officers. President of PPCHS HOSA, senior Amogh Baranwal described the environment as “adorned with an aura of academic excellence and personal achievements. It was as if every individual present had a shared commitment to making a positive impact on the world of healthcare.”

Thus, as the announcements of event winners commenced, every name was met with a round of applause, and even chants of support. For PPCHS HOSA specifically, Top 5 placers collected their medals or ribbons and stepped onto the podium alongside yells of “CHARTER SWEEP!”, in honor of the multiple victories the club achieved. Fabrizio Cioffi, who won first place in Physical Therapy, expresses, “The amount of satisfaction I felt being up there and hearing everyone cheer was just purely unmatched,” especially as the junior had been “longing” for the moment for weeks before the actual event. 

Out of the hundred of PPCHS HOSA students who competed, 42 placed in the Top 5 of their events, and 28 placed in the Top 3. Amogh recounts seeing those wins live, saying, “Seeing the culmination and dedication as they walked across the stage, each one standing proudly on their pedestals, was an immensely gratifying moment.”

As those 28 students prepare for the State Leadership Conference this upcoming April in Orlando, they continuously practice and refine their knowledge and skills. Once those students reach Orlando territory, it all becomes a reality. But until then, it will be the support from their peers in Charter that will lead them to the finish line.

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About the Contributors
Rebekah Barrera
Rebekah Barrera, Student Life Editor
Hey! I’m Rebekah Barrera, this year’s Student Life section editor for The CHAT Newspaper. I started out as a Staff Writer for The CHAT, then became a Co-Editor of Arts and Entertainment last year, and now I’m super excited to lead Student Life for one last run during my senior year. PPCHS students play one of the biggest roles in what makes Charter, Charter, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to showcase every aspect of that! Feel free to contact me at [email protected] or @rebekahelize on Instagram for any questions, comments, or story ideas!
Adriana Calderon
Adriana Calderon, Photo Staff
Hello, my name is Adriana Calderon! I am currently a senior and this is my first year in the CHAT. This year I will be a part of the photo department as well as a helping hand for the video team. I enjoy playing soccer, capturing moments, spending time with my family, and going to gym daily. I’m looking forward to an eventful year and the memories the CHAT captures this year! Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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