Allen Seigler quickly admits that his dream is to one day work as a doctor for a professional baseball team. And, the 16-year-old is getting a lot of exposure to the medical field as president of the Georgia Health Occupations Students of America.
As president of the 900-member GHOSA, Seigler is responsible for presiding at all meetings and state conferences and serves as an ex-officio member of the board of directors, relaying all meeting happenings to GHOSA members.
"I joined a health occupations class as a freshman in high school," said the Evans High junior. "HOSA started that year and I joined as vice president of administration."
So enthused about becoming a health professional, Seigler has decided to run as president-elect of the 68,000-member National Health Occupations Students of America next year. During the NHOSA conference in Anaheim, Calif., earlier this month, Seigler served on the eight-member nominating committee which was charged with selecting officers.
"It really gave me a lot of insight into what I need to do to be chosen for the president-elect position next year," said Seigler. "I learned about how they score and judge applicants and that's to my advantage."
But, for the next year, Seigler will focus his attention on increasing membership of the GHOSA.
"I really want to work to increase post-secondary membership. We have only one collegiate chapter and that's at North Georgia College," he said, explaining that GHOSA is open to high school and college students. "But, I also want to increase overall membership."
The GHOSA was recently recognized at the most recent NHOSA meeting for a 155 percent increase in membership over the previous year, the largest membership gain posted among the 24 participating states.
"It was really neat," said Seigler. "We were called up on stage and presented an award."
It's encouraging news like that which keeps Seigler geared toward more membership increases. But, he knows there's a lot of work ahead. One way Seigler intends to spread the message of the GHOSA is by attending state meetings and conferences. But, Seigler worries that he may have to pay for his travel expenses unless he can get the community to support him.
"The state gives some money for the conferences, but all Georgia officers are encouraged to get sponsors," he said. "Evans High School has been wonderful in setting up an account for this purpose. I've sent out letters to businesses asking for sponsorship."
To date, Seigler has had little response, which is discouraging for this ambitious teenager.
"People don't understand how tough it is when you are just getting started," he said, adding that the GHOSA was begun in 2000. "But, I'm hoping individuals and businesses in the community will be able to help with donations."
Individuals and businesses interested in becoming sponsors can do so by sending their donation to Evans High School, 4550 Cox Road, Evans, GA 30809. Please make certain the donation is earmarked for Allen Seigler, GHOSA president.
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