MHS student fights for funding in Washington

Megan Lee | The Chronicle

Mason High School (MHS) junior Parthav Gavini took advocating all the way to Washington, D.C.

Gavini, a member of the Great Oaks Future Health Professionals (HOSA), formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, program at MHS traveled to Washington, D.C. in September to participate in a nationwide convention debating new budget cuts within the program. The Perkins Funding Bill has been circling around Congress since 2018 to decrease the federal government funding for all Career-Technical Organizations, including HOSA.

Career-Technical (Tech) Education programs have been a resource for students all over the country to pursue real-world experience and discover what they would like to do after graduation. Great Oaks sponsors the HOSA program at MHS, so with less funding, the future financial stability of the program is at risk. Gavini spent a weekend in downtown Washington

with other HOSA state officials from all over the country to advocate for the program, which he said provides students with various opportunities for real-world volunteering within their desired medical or healthcare field.

“We are trying to make sure there’s still funding available for organizations to help students achieve their career goals,” Gavini said. “Especially with the new budget cuts.”

The convention took place from Sept. 23 to Sept. 26, 2023. During his time there, Gavini was able to learn from Career-Tech professionals on how to speak for political issues like funding.

“The whole [convention] taught us various skills such as how to argue about and for funding, especially to such high authorities,” Gavini said.

Gavini represented Ohio as a designated state officer after undergoing an extensive application process. On the final days of the convention, each officer got to have a meeting with a government representative to voice their opinion on the new funding bill.

Gavini met with the staff of Senator J.D. Vance, one of Ohio’s senators who covers health and educational policies. During the thirty minute meeting, Gavini said he was able to express his prominent goals in regards to the Perkins Funding Bill and additional funding for Career-Tech


“I got to really talk to him about what our goals are and why they should support our need for continued funding in our program,” Gavini said.

Gavini said that having peers around him that were just as passionate about HOSA made the convention engaging and encouraging to participate in.

“Connecting and networking with hundreds of other leaders that were there made the entire experience so motivational,” Gavini said.

HOSA advisor, Principles of Biomedical Science and Human Body Systems teacher Karen McDonough chaperoned Gavini’s trip and said that she was blown away by his passion and ability to fight for what he believes in

“To watch him professionally speak, and be able to answer questions off the cuff because he was so knowledgeable about it all, and the passion he had for what he was saying really impressed me,” McDonough said.

McDonough, along with other HOSA advisor Carol Anderson, said that while she feels HOSA has helped Gavini develop his skills, it is ultimately his devotion to the cause that turns heads.

“Our program along with his other involvements at MHS prepared him for the convention but he also just had the passion,” McDonough said. “Everything he said sparked a difference.”

McDonough said that she knows Gavini is an involved student and loved to see him grow on a professional level to fight for continued financial support for HOSA. His dedication to the program and desire to continue to provide solid opportunities for other students is

what made him so appealing as a state officer.

“Seeing the professionalism he had towards the convention and how much he really wanted to change the issue, I could really see him develop not just his science skills but also his leadership skills,” McDonough said.

While Gavini was able to earn himself this opportunity, he said he could not have done it without the support of the HOSA program and the outreach opportunities he has been given. By being elected into the role of state officer, Gavini knows that he is taking strides to making a dif-


“HOSA as an organization was able to provide me with so many opportunities of leadership and professional development,” Gavini said. “All these opportunities are possible because of the funding that we receive from the national government.”

Gavini said that while he knows the convention was short-lived, the impact he made during his time there will not be forgotten. Being able to show a student opinion of the Perkins Funding Bill, Gavini is confident he and his fellow state officers have been heard.

“All these representatives and senators go to meetings 24/7 with a bunch of other adults,” Gavini said. “Hearing the passionate voices from students like us, the people that are actually going through the education system right now is a whole different perspective.”

HOSA has given Gavini more than just opportunities, but also the chance to share his opinion on a national level and make a true difference for the program. As he continues to fight for equal funding for HOSA programs throughout the country, Gavini said he is ready to keep inspiring others to push for change no matter what they are up against.

“We’re the people that are shaping our own futures and experiences,” Gavini said. “We need to make these representatives want to take action and actually hear our voices and make sure that we’re represented in the government.”