David Calderon

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My name is David Calderon, a Health Sciences Pathway Senior at the Applied Technology Center. I am a first-generation college student striving to work in the medical field as a medical professional.

My parents are both immigrants from El Salvador, who came to the United States looking for a better life. Once here, they worked tirelessly to ensure me and my brother could go to school and earn a better future. I've lived in Montebello my whole life, in a small studio apartment alongside my family. Although the cramped space posed a challenge in my academic life, I've learned how to adapt, coexist, and thrive. A small section of our dining table has been where I've done all of my college planning, my flagship projects, applying for internships, and many other things.

 

As I began my high school career, I grew interested in the Health Pathway. From childhood, I remember grabbing any science textbook or almanac I could from the bookstore's shelves. I'd sit on a bench for hours reading through the pages. Now, as I delve into more technical topics like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, or Freud's Theories of Psychoanalysis in the Health Sciences Pathway classroom, I am being primed to become a successful purveyor of wellbeing in the near future. Whether that setting is in a clinic, a public health office, or a hospital, I have been given the tools of knowledge, which I hope to pass on to others.

Leading the Next Wave of Health Professionals in the Midst of a Pandemic

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Year 1

I spent my first year at ATC HOSA as a member, learning the ropes of HOSA's competitive events. I attended the State Leadership Conference (SLC), held in Sacramento, where I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with like-minded students from throughout California. (2019)

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Year 2

During my second year at HOSA, I participated at various community enrichment events, delivering crucial information on topics ranging from efficient hand washing to pet CPR. I also served as an Officer of Training, mainly ensuring that our competitors for SLC were ready for their events. Sure enough, three competitors were able to compete in the International Leadership Conference due to their excellence in the state level exams. However, the pandemic cut their aspirations short as all HOSA events for the year were cancelled, including SLC. (2020)

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Year 3

Now during my third and final year, I proudly serve as President for ATC HOSA. The pandemic has brought about many challenges to overcome, like digital communication barriers. However, I'm glad to say that my cabinet and I have successfully persevered with the mission of ensuring that students have a safe space to interact every Thursday. Two of our members were recognized by Cal-HOSA for their excellent work in their competitive events and will proceed to compete Internationally, through virtual means. (2021)

What is HOSA?

I spent my first year at ATC HOSA as a member, learning the ropes of HOSA's competitive events. I attended the State Leadership Conference (SLC), held in Sacramento, where I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with like-minded students from throughout California. (2019)

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Building a Community during Quarantine...

     In the midst of a global pandemic, ATC HOSA persevered. I served as the President of our ATC HOSA Chapter. My duty was to ensure all proceedings and events were planned thoroughly so we, as an organization, can continue to provide an outlet for healthcare career exploration through means of competition. This was no easy feat, but clearly, it was not impossible. As an organization, we were able to maintain regular meetings every Thursday, interacting with HOSA members, presenting our plans for the upcoming months, doing creative icebreakers, and opening up a session for Q&A. Despite the communication barriers due to online learning, a few of ATC HOSA's competitors were able to rank high in their State Competitive Events, in Second and Third Place respectively.

     Leading this organization taught me valuable lessons. I learned no matter how impossible a challenge may seem, it is important to take it day by day. At the beginning of the year, the task of ensuring HOSA could go on was daunting. To be frank, I wasn't quite sure how I would manage to do it. Although my work ethic may have suffered sometimes, I managed to pick myself back up and find great support in my advisors and fellow cabinet members. Now as I prepare to attend Cal, I am excited to incorporate these teachings into daily college life.