FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — South Forsyth Middle School was recently recognized as the world’s largest Future Health Professionals club. The organization, formally known as the Health Occupations of America, is for students that are interested in a career in the Healthcare field.
South Forsyth Middle School started the Future Health Professionals club in 2014 with 77 mem-bers. When they were nationally affiliated in 2016, they grew to 165 members last year and 180 members this past year.
They have been recognized and designated as the Largest Middle School Chapter in the world these past two years.
“Once these students realized the opportunity they had at the middle school level they wanted to be a part of the chapter,” said Julie Smith, Future Health Professionals advisor. “Students saw their chance to participate in community service as well as serve as a competitor in the competi-tive events part of HOSA.”
Terri Morrison, student president of the South Forsyth chapter, got involved with HOSA two years ago, when she was in the sixth grade.
“By being a part of HOSA and being the president, I believe I am giving people who join a chance at starting their future at an earlier age,” she said.
There are 10 events offered at the middle school level where students have the chance to partici-pate at the Regional, State, and National level if they qualify. This past June, Smith took 25 stu-dents to the International Leadership Conference in Orlando. She had students that placed first, second and third in the events and all of her students placed in the top 10.
Their national service project is in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They will be doing a Color Run in the spring to promote awareness and raise money for this or-ganization. They also carry out monthly service projects, collect board games for kids in Appala-chia for Christmas and will be making Christmas cards for the children in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“Students also love to be a part of something. Many of these students already know that they want to be in the healthcare field. The opportunity that is presented at this level only benefits them more when they begin high school,” Smith said.
This organization has given students the opportunity to make many friends while making an im-pact in their community.
“My favorite part of HOSA is ability to create new friendships and bond with new people,” Mor-rison said.