September 21st through the 24th, Delaware HOSA state officer team joined the executive council, fellow state officers from around the nation, and local chapter leaders meet in Washington D.C. for the annual Washington Leadership Academy (WLA). The first day kicked off with a great opening season led by keynote speaker Jack Andraka. Andraka is a Stanford University student, inventor, and cancer researcher. While in high school he gained national attention after successfully presenting a cheaper and more effective method for detecting the early stages of pancreatic and other cancers. Not only did Andraka speak about his research, he also found a way to make his life relate to all the HOSA officers through humor and personal stories.
On the second day, the state officers were introduced to interactive activities and were challenged to find the most efficient way to solve the problem while working as a team. These activities were very impactful as they taught officers that they must be open to all ideas when faced with adversity. Afterwards all the officers and advisors were taken on Twilight tours where they were able to bond and take pictures at famous monuments in D.C.
The third day consisted of the Arlington National Cemetery Tour and a beautiful wreath laying ceremony. This was followed by advocacy training which taught all officers how to speak to their State Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. HOSA officers were able to ask questions so they could better prepare for the big day.
On the last day of WLA the Delaware HOSA State officers met with Legislative Assistant to Senator Chris Coons, Corey Linehan, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. President Victoria Wachira led the conversation by informing them on the mission of HOSA and why they are so grateful for the support of Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). Each officer also shared their own insights on their educational and career path choice and why. Additionally they expressed gratitude for the support of the Perkins Act.
WLA can be wrapped up with one word: Influence. Through the leadership sessions, industry tours and congressional visits, HOSA officers were taught to recognize the importance of being a person of influence and the characteristics and behavior of what makes a positive influential leader. Then, to examine and understand how increasing an individual’s ability to positively influence others correlates with a highly functioning HOSA officer team and HOSA chartered association. The experience and knowledge from the 2019 WLCA will be put to the test as the Fall Leadership Conference kicks off and we head “Towards Tomorrow”.