Niharika Abbaraju at the HOSA Leadership Conference

Niharika Abbaraju at the HOSA Leadership Conference

So many exciting things are happening this year, from the beginning of the spring sports season to the ending of this school year’s Speech and Debate season. Of course, our school’s HOSA club is not an exception to being affected by this spur of events. Eight of our Knights have qualified for the HOSA State Leadership Conference held in Tucson at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa from March 29 to March 31. The State Leadership Conference hosts over 1,500 students from across the state, giving the students the opportunity for network and meet other HOSA members.

The students prepared for the competition portion of the conference the past two months through review and doing practice questions to demonstrate their ability to perform biotechnology procedures, which is what they will be working on now as the date approaches. The qualified students, as found on the February 19’s Knightly Update, are Vahini Patel, Niharika Abbaraju, Megan Dowd, Austin Lund, Garv Sharma, Adwita Goyal, Sowjanya Ravi, Samantha Kaplan. Today, we’ll be talking with the founder of ACP’s HOSA chapter, Niharika Abbaraju, regarding how she founded the club and her thoughts regarding the future of the club and the conference.

Niharika is a member of the soon-to-graduate Class of 2023 and founded ACP’s chapter two years ago with the help of the club’s sponsor, Mrs. Nath, along with our school officially having our own biotechnology curriculum, ensuring that our chapter was able to be a part of the national HOSA organization. In her free time, Niharika likes to listen to music, learn about the latest skincare trends and innovations, and sing.

“The reason I wanted to start HOSA” she begins to explain, “really came down to the fact that ACP now had a biotechnology chapter and the other medical club that I run, Future Medical Professionals, had a lot of students who planned on taking biotechnology as well.” Essentially, Niharika’s main reason for introducing another medical club was that it had practical experience, the ability to network with other individuals in Arizona, and allowed other students to attend conferences and competitions. “I think joining HOSA has shaped what I want to do in the future by giving me exposure to various fields in not only healthcare but also all of its encompassing fields,” she concludes. The leadership conference was a great example of Niharika’s explanation; it wasn’t just about doctors, but they also got to speak with nurses, EMTs, veterinarians, biomedical researches, and more at the conference.

Niharika hopes to pursue a career in biotechnology, specifically working in research and development to help develop drugs for many medical conditions that have yet to be treated or cured. Niharika also expresses her desire “to be involved in clinical research and get to interact with patients and help make an impact by making treatments more accessible and affordable.” The biggest piece of advice she has for a high school student who wants to go into healthcare is to stay open to your options and avoid the tunnel hole mentality. “Many of my best experiences in high school came unexpectedly, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do them, but trying something new is always a good thing, and it allowed me to truly find what I was passionate about,” she concludes.

Niharika is really excited that eight members of the club qualified for the state competition. While they can unfortunately only take three, she hopes that as HOSA expands, more students will be able to attend next year, and she, as well as the rest of our school, look forward to seeing more members go the conference in the future and wishes their futures selves the best! If you are interested in joining HOSA next school year, talk to Mrs. Nath and she’ll let you in on everything you need to know about the club. As always, Knights, remember to strive for the impossible and be extraordinary!

Featured Image Credit: SC HOSA Future Health Professionals