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Mini HOSA Competition: Mental Health Advocacy

Dental Students prepare for their mental health HOSA presentation.

In the realm of academic competitions, every victory is a testament to dedication and hard work. Recently, dental students Ameris Musselman, Amir Amine, Sophia White, and Shyla Satterfield in the mini Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition achieved an impressive achievement, securing the seventh position out of 99 participants. Their journey, marked by determination and a commitment to mental health advocacy, not only earned them recognition, but also paved the way for impactful discussions in their community.

The mini HOSA competition serves as a platform for students to showcase their skills and knowledge in various healthcare-related fields. From clinical events to health professions events, participants engage in rigorous challenges that test their expertise and critical thinking abilities. Among these events, this team chose to focus on an issue often overlooked yet profoundly impactful: mental health.

With unwavering passion, the team dedicated themselves to crafting a presentation that shed light on the importance of mental health awareness and destigmatization. Drawing from personal experiences and community outreach efforts, they delivered a compelling narrative that resonated with both judges and audience members. Their presentation not only showcased their understanding of mental health issues but also highlighted the urgency of addressing them within healthcare systems and beyond.

Earning a position in the top ten was a remarkable achievement in itself. They secured a spot among the top 48 participants who would advance to the state-level competition. This opportunity not only validated their efforts but also provided a broader platform to amplify their message and advocate for change.

As they prepare for the upcoming state competition, the team remains steadfast in their mission to promote mental health awareness and support, “We are going to plan activities at the Trenton Library for kids to come and learn what mental health is. Doing this will expand youths’ knowledge on mental health and help us accomplish our main goal,” says Satterfield. 

Armed with newfound confidence and a sense of purpose, they are poised to make an even greater impact on their peers, educators, and the community at large. “We plan on expanding even more and going to Detroit and River Rouge schools and schools that are often more overlooked,” says Shyla.

Through volunteering, awareness campaigns, and possible partnerships with local organizations, they strive to initiate meaningful conversations and drive tangible actions toward improving mental health outcomes.

The success of this team in the mini HOSA competition serves as a reminder of the power of advocacy and collaboration in addressing pressing healthcare issues. “HOSA has emphasized that independence doesn’t always lead to progress, prompting me to adapt and understand the importance of collaboration,” says White.

HOSA not only broadens mindsets and leadership skills, but also defines a new sense of teamwork. “Before joining HOSA, I viewed teamwork as simply completing tasks within a group. However, I soon realized that to reach goals, such as states and nationals, each team member must actively contribute,” says White. 

 While their journey began for recognition, it has evolved into a catalyst for change and a beacon of hope for those struggling with mental health challenges. As they continue to pave the way for future generations of advocates, their resilience and determination inspire us to strive for a healthier, more compassionate world.

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