Scottsdale Teen Places at National Competition

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – July 10, 2024) – Scottsdale teen Angela Sutton – an 11-grader at Arizona Virtual Academy – earned third place in the Prepared Speaking category at the HOSA (formerly Health Occupations Students of America) International Leadership Conference, which took place in recent weeks in Houston.

HOSA is a global student-led organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services and several federal and state agencies. HOSA’s mission is to empower HOSA-Future Health Professionals to become leaders in the global health community, through education, collaboration, and experience.

“Angela, the president of the HOSA chapter at Arizona Virtual Academy, has shown a remarkable dedication to her personal development and the health care sector since her sophomore year,” stated Dr. Erica Young-Jackson, the career readiness education administrator at Arizona Virtual Academy, who was present at the event with Sutton. “Angela secured her spot in the competition by winning in her category at the Arizona HOSA Regional Leadership Conference. She continued her success by achieving first place in Prepared Speaking and fourth in Human Heredity at the Arizona HOSA State Leadership Conference held in Tucson in March 2024.”

The Scottsdale resident chose to compete solo at the HOSA International Leadership Conference and presented a five-minute speech about failure and its role in the creative process in an environment of increasing pressure from social media to be perfect. Sutton’s achievements serve as inspiration to her fellow students at Arizona Virtual Academy and highlight the school’s dedication to fostering student success with its flexible online learning environment.

 “Placing at both the State Leadership Conference and Regional Conference was such a remarkable feeling; seeing all my hard work paid off as I stood in front of my peers and educators was such a gratifying experience,” said Sutton, who has the goal of being a speech pathologist.

Sutton especially impressed the judges when she discussed that failure is a part of everyone’s lives.

“We all are going to fail, probably many, many times. We’re going to have ideas and they won’t work, and we will get pushed down time and time again. And that is okay because that is how we create things. It takes time, and there is no creativity without failure,” said Sutton in her speech. “We are so scared to make mistakes. It’s not our fault; there is so much pressure. With things like social media or grades, it’s easy to feel like our success is what defines us because being perfect has become too normalized, and mistakes have become too taboo. We’re human: we mess up, we fail, and we make mistakes. That ability, that privilege to fail, is what gives us the ability and privilege to create. I dare to create mistakes.”

For more information about the program, please visit

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at Jul 10, 2024

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