A Moment of Reflection
I was quiet on my flight home to Dallas, Texas from Anaheim, California. My mom was sleeping in the seat next to me and my dad was snoring two rows behind me. I sat in my seat smiling to myself, reflecting on the week that I had just experienced. It was a week that I won’t soon forget.
When you get the opportunity to work on a team full of innovative, intelligent and caring leaders, you know you have hit the jackpot. My “Ohana” (as we like to call our team) is the best group of people I have come to know and love, which is why I was beyond excited to be reunited with them for the last time. I remember when I was first introduced to my new family on June 27, 2014 after the Recognition Session at the 37th National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Orlando, Florida. It was there that we made an instant connection with each other. I will never forget our group hug right after we were inducted into office. It was a moment that will later make saying goodbye to them so difficult. We were all excited for what was to come during our term, but we didn’t realize the end would come so quickly. From Washington Leadership Academy to the HOSA Inc. Board of Directors Meeting to 19 different State Leadership Conferences to the pre-NLC webinar, we felt like we have accomplished a great deal throughout the year, and it was our time to finish off our term strong at HOSA’s 38th National Leadership Conference in beautiful Anaheim, California.
We were all fortunate enough to get to California about five days before the start of the conference and begin the ending of our term as the 2014–2015 National Executive Council. After spending a day at the Happiest Place on Earth, we had to put our game faces on and get ready for the inspiring week ahead of us, filled with meeting HOSA members from across the WORLD (yes, HOSA-Future Health Professionals is international) and speaking in front of 8,550 members, advisors and guests on the first-ever round stage in the Anaheim Convention Center. Let me mention a few things about this unique round stage concept. First off, it was the first round stage we have ever seen at a NLC, so it was very new to us as well as to the audience. And secondly, Hugo Quezada, the (now former) National HOSA President, had the most incredible entrance at the beginning of the Opening Ceremony. He seemed to have appeared out of nowhere from behind the sheets that videos were being projected onto before the opening session. I’m not going to lie, even though I knew what was going to happen, I (and the rest of the arena) went wild when Hugo appeared on stage. Although it took hours of rehearsal to prepare for the new stage design, I know it was all worth it.
I remember the rush of adrenaline while being on that stage. I remember looking around and realizing that right here in front of me are dedicated, hardworking, inspiring individuals who are all part of the pipeline of future health professionals. Not only that, but they have the enthusiasm to let the world know what HOSA is all about. It was my honor being on that stage because throughout my term as a National officer, I was able to serve each and every one of them to the best of my ability. I wish I could begin to put my experience into words, but no words can do it justice. However, there was one key advice I remember Lowell Doringo, past National HOSA President and past HOSA Inc. Board of Directors Chairman, told us while we were in Florida that absolutely humbled me through the entire experience. It was that even though the voting delegates had elected me to represent them and the organization at the various functions throughout the year, I was the least important person of HOSA-Future Health Professionals. I was at these events to highlight the talents and the accomplishments of the members that I represented. I am not important; the members are. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten the experience of a lifetime. And without them, there wouldn’t be HOSA-Future Health Professionals. Through that, my perspective on my role as a National Officer changed and I hope it was reflected in how I carried myself at every leadership event.
It’s funny to think that my term is now over. I don’t think anyone on my team expected it to end as quickly as it did, but through the short period of time, I learned many key lessons I hope to carry with me back to Texas. One being a quote that I lived by during my term. “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will only remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou could not have put my officer experience into better words. It was my duty to make an impact in any way possible, even if it was just to make someone smile. It was those moments that made everything else worth it. It was those small moments that encouraged me to dive into my passion and to cherish the experiences I have received, thus far. And if someone were to ask me now, which is more important: passion or experience? I would say, if you have the passion to something you love, then the experience will come naturally. That’s how it seemed to work for me.
Now that it’s time to put up my HOSA suit for a little while, I can reflect on all of the memories that I have created with the incredible people I have met along the way. I’m not sad that it’s over. I’m happy that it happened. And I’m ready to become a future health professional. Fortunately enough, it might just happen not too far into the future. All thanks to the one and only, HOSA-Future Health Professionals.
Christine Kim, Past National HOSA Officer