By Ralph Dickerson
The Hancock County Chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America at the high school competed virtually in the State FBLA Leadership Conference in late April, and several students earned first place awards in the competition.
Paul Kim earned first place in accounting 1, Samuel Marsch first in Agribusiness, Jayden Gonzales first in Electronic Career Portfolio, and Morgan Curry won first in Word Processing. Local FBLA Members also placed second or third in other events at the state conference. “We had a record setting number of local members who place in state this year, qualifying them for national competition,” FBLA advisor Kelly White said.
White gave a brief bio of Samuel Marsch, Paul Kim and Jayden Gonzalez, three of the first place winners at this year’s state leadership conference.
Samuel Marsch competed in the Agribusiness category. According to the contest description, “this event provides recognition for FBLA members who demonstrate an understanding of and skill in basic agribusiness concepts and procedures. Areas of concentration include accounting, entrepreneurship, management and marketing.” White described Marsch as a natural leader that is accessible, approachable logical and fair.
“He is an asset to FBLA and will blaze trails in all of his endeavors,” White said.
White then commented on Paul Kim. She said competing in regional, state and national competition will help him to improve greatly in the accounting category. This competition recognizes students that keep accurate financial records, and understand accounting principals and procedures.
“Paul brings exceptional diligence, critical thinking and problem-solving to this event,” White said.
The Electronic Career Portfolio helps a prospective job seeker to tell his or her story. It lists the applicant’s achievements, growth, vision, experience, training and education. The portfolio allows an applicant to present a full picture of his or her skills and overall fitness for employment at a company. Jayden Gonzales won this event for Hancock County.
“He is determined, creative and ambitious,” White said. “He will prove pivotal in our chapter as he naturally conveys the importance of having a growth mindset.”
So, what is the Future Business Leaders of America? What does it do for students?
According to the FBLA web home page, “FBLA is the high school division of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta lambda, Inc.” The organization helps prepare students for a career in business. It accomplishes this goal through “competitions, leadership development and educational programs” according to the home page.
Locally, students receive an opportunity to work with area business and industry through internships. An internship allows students to see how a business works in the real world; it allows them to take what he or she learned in the classroom and apply it to a real job setting.
“We want those candidates to be able to contribute productively to the business in which they have been chosen to intern,” White said. “The skills and talent within our membership is substantial. We are open to collaborating with area businesses and government to see how we can be of service.”
In the state competition in April, Kennedy Lucas and Trey Curry earned second place in the Entrepreneurship category, and Axell Munguia second in Political Science. Jillian Kruse, Kaitlyn Duff and Kennedy Lucas placed third in the Business Plan category, and Will Beckwith, Falyn Stokes and Kailey Swihart third in the Emerging Business plan category.