Brooke's HOSA Story

My name is Brooke Shaw and I am a former Oklahoma HOSA State Secretary and a current HOSA Alumni. I served as State Secretary my senior year of high school into the first few months of my freshman year of college under Debbie Bennett. This time proved to be one of the best and most meaningful times in my life as it allowed me to expand myself both socially and internally. I became a better leader, a better worker, and a better human being all around. During my time as State Officer, I was constantly working to do the best I could for Oklahoma HOSA and the various charities and organizations we supported or assisted. In the middle of my academic transition from high school to college and the turmoil of moving away from family and friends, HOSA served as a steadfast rock to keep me grounded to who I was as a person and a leader. Without HOSA, I do not know that I would have been able to excel in school and the workplace as I have at this point in my life. Due to this, I am grateful for Debbie and HOSA so I do all that I can to help them and stay in contact the best that my busy schedule will allow.
At least once a month, Debbie and I will meet up at a variety of locations. We have lunch and catch up on each other’s personal lives (as we are both friends as well as mentor and mentee) and spend plenty of time laughing and enjoying each other’s company. During these meetings, we also spend a great deal of our time talking about HOSA. We talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the team members and how they have progressed over the term. We discuss the service project for the current year’s HOSA chapters. And we converse what can be done to improve HOSA for current and former members. These discussions have led to several different changes being made at State Conference and elsewhere. As of now, more is being done to involve HOSA alumni in State—an initiative that my officer team took to heart when we attempted to contact dozens of former State officers during our term to register them as alumni members. From there, I helped Debbie to start and organize a HOSA alumni ice cream social at the University of Oklahoma where we had a wonderful turnout for our first event. It is our hope, through this event, to reach a number of former HOSA members who may not realize the sheer number of alumni on campus around them. Additionally, we hope to make the transition for college freshmen a little easier by connecting them with more individuals who had the same mindset as they did when coming into the adult world for the first time. In addition to all the help I try to supply for HOSA alumni, I am also involved in helping current HOSA students by volunteering at the State Conference every year. I help to either judge or keep time on Job Seeking Skills and have made attempts to connect with each generation of HOSA officers before the Conference when Debbie holds a dinner.
It is not much, but with the busy life I lead in college and work, I do as much as I can to help Debbie and Oklahoma HOSA. They both did so much to make me into the person I am today—someone who knows what she wants, how to get it, and how to adjust along the way. My time spent as Secretary helped me to become a better leader and learn how to better organize things. My time as an alumni has allowed me to expand my connections and assist those who I can to become great. It is my hope that everyone who has ever been a part of HOSA has the same level of gratuity towards the organization for its part in shaping them into the person they were meant to be. I hope that many more are able and willing to help Oklahoma HOSA continue to grow into a more wonderful organization than it originally was.