October 16th, 2014 (Jupiter, FL) – Florida Atlantic University’s Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College has always taken pride in the unparalleled drive and determination of its students. Very early in his academic career, Clayton A. Sims developed an aspiration to seek a career in the medical field. In order to pursue his goals, he thought that participating in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) would be a good place to start. As a Florida State Officer for this national organization, Sims had the opportunity to attend HOSA’s Washington Leadership Academy (WLA) for the second time from September 20 to September 23, 2014, and is very excited to found HOSA’s first chapter at Florida Atlantic University at the Honors College on the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter.
Sims first became interest in HOSA because of its heavy focus on medicine and its mission to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and enhance the quality of health care for all people. HOSA is a national student organization that began in 1976 and has grown to over 170,000 members. Each year HOSA hosts its Annual Washington Leadership Academy (WLA) where state representatives from all over the nation (and soon international representatives) come together to share information and ideas, network, and improve one another’s leadership. “I’ve been a part of HOSA since my sophomore year of high school but I have only been a State Officer since the 2013-2014 academic year. I was reelected to this position this past April, and I am very excited to serve in the Florida HOSA’s Board for a second term,” shares Sims. As a Florida HOSA State Officer, Sims holds a voting position on the Florida Board of Directors and the HOSA Foundation of the State of Florida. Before he was appointed to his new position, Sims was responsible for ensuring parliamentary procedures were followed and minutes were kept throughout every Board and Foundation meeting as the Parliamentarian and the Secretary. As an active member in HOSA, Sims is expected to deliver a report of his activities to the Board. He is also expected to give his input and vote on different matters that come before Florida’s HOSA. Sims is now the 2014-2015 Southern Vice-President Postsecondary, and as such his responsibilities have increased to represent all the collegiate students in the southern half of the State of Florida.
The Washington Leadership Academy was only four days long; however, in those few days students were not only able to participate in various learning activities but they also had the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and the Florida Embassy, meet congressional staff members, and tour monuments such as the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial). Sims believes the most challenging aspect of WLA was stepping out of his comfort zone and networking with others. “Meeting new people can be very difficult, especially when you don’t know what to say. A big part of the Academy was to learn how to approach and engage with others,” he states. Sims finds that the only difference between an obstacle and an opportunity is our attitude towards it. For him every opportunity has its difficulties and it is from these difficulties that we learn and grow. HOSA and the WLA has helped Sims improve his communication skills and have encouraged him to become more involved in the various active clubs and organizations of the MacArthur Campus.
“HOSA is an amazing organization that has helped me grow as a leader, a team member, an innovator, a student, and as a person. It is hard to imagine being the same person without the positive impact HOSA has had on me, and I want to share this with others,” says Sims. The Honors College is very excited to see a new chapter of Health Occupations Students of America flourish through the tenacity, leadership and perseverance of Sims.
About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world- class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu