Miami Palmetto High senior Hania Martell is heading Care in the Lines, a community service project for Health Organization Students of America (HOSA). The students run a collection drive for arts and crafts supplies. Those supplies are donated to the juvenile cancer patients at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
“We collect a lot of coloring books,” she says.
They also take crayons, markers, colored pencils and sketch pads.
“Any type of arts and crafts materials,” she says.
This year’s drive started Nov. 1 and runs for the entire month.
“So, we can get them in time for Christmas,” she says.
Last year they collected and donated 25 boxes filled with supplies.
“It’s great to be a part of this project because it can sometimes be boring in hospitals while these children and teens wait for their treatment,” she says.
Martell is president of HOSA this year. Last year she was secretary and helped the president run the drive.
In addition to the Care in the Lines drive, HOSA students participate in competitions. Martell took part in the dental terminology category her sophomore year. Last year, she was a member of the Palmetto team that competed in the HOSA Bowl.
“We came in third in our district,” she says.
The team is competing in the next HOSA Bowl this month.
In addition to HOSA, Martell is in the LEO club, which conducts blood drives at Palmetto.
“I used to do it at my old school, in Jamaica,” she says.
She moved to Miami at the beginning of her freshman year and has concentrated on medically related extracurricular activities. This follows a family tradition of working in the medical field. Her family moved to Miami because her mom wanted to be a traveling nurse.
Martell is also in HIV Peer Educators. Members of that club attend seminars on how to teach fellow students about HIV/Aids.
“We learn about HIV, how to prevent it, and how to have safe sex,” she says. “We go back and teach classes in our school. We ask the teachers which ones want to give up a day and teach all their students. Most of them do. They all think it’s important. Two days out of the year.”
She also teaches freshmen about health. She’s vice president of the Health Information Project (HIP).
“We have juniors and seniors go out and teach freshmen about mental health, relationships and other topics. There are eight modules on how to be healthy.”
Martell wants to become a pediatrician because she loves kids. But she wouldn’t mind teaching along the way.
She recently joined FFEA, and honor society for future educators.
“I did it because of my experience with children,” she says.
That experience came three summers ago when she volunteered at a summer camp run by one of her neighbors.
“I was like a camp leader,” she says. “We did arts and crafts and math for three to five-year olds.”
Because she only moved to Miami a few years ago, she’s planning to stay close to home for college. She’s waiting to hear from Florida International University and the University of Central Florida about her applications.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld