I felt my heart racing as it pounded in my chest a thousand times per minute. My breath fell short and I realized that the people around me were experiencing the same. We were all holding onto the same anticipation, the same hope for the moment we have been waiting for. We then proceeded to hold hands, as if we could transmit strength to every one of the 194 Hawaii delegates.
First, there was a moment of silence. Then, a wave of shock. Finally, we screamed as loud as we could with “Chee-hoo!” echoing in the large ballroom and tears streaming down our faces. It was in that moment that we realized that Hawaii HOSA had made history. Mart Joshua Lopez became the first national officer to represent Hawaii as the Region I Vice President.
We cried and screamed because it gave us an immense pride to see Hawaii’s very own standing in front of all of National HOSA as an emerging and promising leader. We felt these emotions because Hawaii HOSA ran in our veins. Josh was one of my closest friends and I was so proud to see him accomplish his goals, but I was even more proud to witness how his run for national office strengthened the bond that Hawaii HOSA shared, one that was based on friendship, loyalty, and ‘ohana.
Josh exemplified the love and ambition that we all possess as we annually trek to the National Leadership Conference because we know that Nationals is a time to challenge our limits, meet others from all corners of the country, and reach new heights. Every time we go to Nationals, Hawaii HOSA strives for excellence, but before that, we have another goal in mind — to spread the aloha. In the end, our special bond isn’t exclusive. The spirit of aloha and ‘ohana is one that deserves to be spread, not only in Hawaii, but also to all of National HOSA as well.
Jessica Kim, Hawaii HOSA