HOSA (Future Health Professionals) members will be competing in the annual State Leadership Conference from March 13-16 at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

“This year’s conference is going to be at the same place as last year, which is cool because we’re already used to the environment now,” HOSA president Krystal Chaidez said. “It’ll be fun to experience the same surroundings all over again.”

97 members have signed up for events and will be chaperoned by 10 adults. To qualify for participation, the members had to fundraise by either selling three boxes of chocolate or paying a $95 fee. They were also required to obtain HOSA dress blues, have fewer than three unexcused absences, accumulate 20 community service hours and maintain satisfactory grades (no lower than a D in any class).

“State is a neat experience because it allows me to be an expert on a subject,” junior Samrawit Misiker said. “Because I already took my exam, I will spend state visiting symposiums and listening to guest speakers, which I’m really excited about.”

In order to advance to the National Leadership Conference, competing members must place at least third in their events.

“I’m going to participate in the PSA event this year, which seems like a pretty promising event,” senior Andy Landaverde said. “I’ve never competed before, so I’m a little nervous.”

36 members qualified for last year’s national conference by placing third or higher in their state competitions. 116 were in attendance at the state level.

“I think a few students will place higher than previous students, but I have a lot of kids who still have not even begun their events that are just now thinking of working on them and it’s three weeks away,” HOSA adviser Vicki Smith said.