A Brighter Path

At age eight, I should wondered how airplanes fly, and not wonder why I was flying in one, heading to an unknown destination — leaving behind my fragmented childhood. Soon, the cultural shock, the language barrier, the arid and isolate environment greeted me coldly.

In the first few weeks, sleep eluded me. I grasped the few stationary supplies I had brought from Nepal, and began drawing a brain. The gyri and the sulci in an illustrated almanac guided my pencil as the crude brain slowly emerged in the lined paper.

When I picked up my first medical reading book two years ago, and turned to the first page, the vivid image of the drawing etched itself in my mind. A new journey was emerging in my life, one which would ensnare me and entangle for a life time. A curious peek inside a HOSA club meeting melded into five treasured books. Ones which ignited a passion for healthcare, inspired a need to serve, and is now innovating a desire for change.

The books engulfed me to a world with individuals who were passionate for the future. HOSA: Future Health Professionals. It was bursting in every corner of my first national leadership conference. When thousands of students from around the nation, bubbling with energy, light up the general session — one truly does take a step back. My competition room was a witness for a nervous yet confident vibe, one which led me to know that the future pipeline for health professionals will be filled. When I was in a room with hundreds of bright state officers from each corner of the U.S, I saw that no one was afraid of truly leading. Finally, when I visited the various Hawaiian Islands and interacted with the members during Leadership Workshops, I knew that the passion is real.

And, as I continue to repeat the above during my second year as a state officer, I see all that I saw previously, but in a stronger light. That is, it is these moments that help answer the question as to why I boarded the plane.

Rajeev Jha
Hawaii HOSA

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