The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

A Step Closer to the Future for Catrina Serocke

Catrina Serocke wins the Dental Science category in this year’s HOSA Conference.
Catrina Serocke
Sophomore Catrina Serocke hopes to pursue a career in dentistry

It was 7:15 p.m. on Jan.22 when sophomore Catrina Serocke saw her results in this year’s HOSA (formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America) Northern Regional Conference. She felt a rush of excitement along with her family as she watched her name come up on the screen in first place in the Dental Science category. 

Serocke recalls her reaction, saying, “It felt unreal, I was definitely not expecting it.” This was a memorable moment that she will surely never forget. Along with further cementing her passion in the area of dentistry, this win also allowed her to move on to compete in the State Leadership Conference in March, which she plans on attending. 

Dr. Wendy Bruffy, Advisor of the Health Professions Club, states that the event is “usually held on a weekend, and it takes place at a large regional high school that has the room to handle 100’s of students.” Due to the coronavirus, the conference took place virtually this year. According to Bruffy, students were sent links for testing and the awards were completed and announced through Youtube.

Serocke, an active member of the Health Professions Club, was heavily prepared for this challenging test. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, going up against other Academy and Biomed highschools, but for me, I wanted to put my hard work to the test. It allowed me to challenge myself with such a complicated topic.” Serocke was supplied with study resources as well as Quizlet sets Bruffy shared with the students. Serocke’s mom who is currently a dental hygienist also “allowed me to read over some of her dental materials from when she was in dental school,” says Serocke. 

With much of her family involved in the medical field, particularly the dental side, she noted that she has been able to closely see the works of many medical professions. As she has shadowed and assisted many dental workers, such as her mom, she has a solid understanding of what it is like to work in that environment and is confident in her interest in the field. Her passion for the dental area is “definitely inspired primarily by my mom,” Serocke added.

“My mom is the most hard-working passionate person I know, and I aspire to be like her one day,” says Serocke. After assisting dental workers and offices enhancing her passion, she has found herself wanting to pursue a career in dental works. “I’m very passionate about helping people, and dental jobs specifically are very rewarding for the doctors.”

She concludes that she is still shadowing doctors in an array of different dental professions, so there is not one specific area she is set on quite yet. “I want to fully immerse myself before I make such an important decision.” 

Serocke’s close friend since middle school, Paris Kowalczyk, touched on her win as well. “She is an example of a student who is honest, responsible, and hardworking. She deserved to win HOSA. She worked hard to prepare for the test, and I know that she will reach her goal of pursuing a career in dental science.”

She deserved to win HOSA. She worked hard to prepare for the test, and I know that she will reach her goal of pursuing a career in dental science.

— Paris Kowalczyk

Now having the opportunity to compete against other students that made it into the top five from all areas of New Jersey, Serocke will be competing in the State Leadership Conference in March. “ I am so excited to put my knowledge to the test during this competition,” she says. Bruffy adds, “Should she win, she then gets the opportunity to compete nationally.”

“Competing in this competition was something I was always interested in,” she remarked. Her win and experience have expanded her love for dental works. With many adults guiding her and the impressive amount of knowledge she has gained through diligent study and work, she is certainly on a path to a bright future in dentistry. 

Serocke highlights, “It is a memory I will never forget, and just one stepping stone to further my passion for the art of dental works.”

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