Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is an association that allows high school students around the country to compete in organized business events. There are over 100 diverse options that students can select based on their areas of interest. Participants have the ability to choose up to four tests or project/presentations, and may combine options as well.

Pavanjeet Parmar is running for FBLA state vice president. Photo Courtesy: Pavanjeet Parmar.

After deciding on their events, individuals are given a set amount of time to prepare for the competition. They may either take their test beforehand or attend a regional conference and present their project/presentation there. If a student or team places in an event, they can attend the state conference and are given additional time to improve their project/presentation or study for their test.

Each state hosts a conference for the placed competitors. The state conference holds advanced competitions in every event. If individuals achieve placement here, they are given the opportunity to compete in the national conference, which will be hosted this summer in Maryland. This final conference determines the national winner of each event.

FBLA an incredibly developed organization that benefits students in many ways. Paige Censale, a junior at Squalicum High School, says, “FBLA has helped me as an individual by allowing me to develop the traits that I naturally possess. In eighth and ninth grade I would be reluctant to give class presentations or take leadership positions. Now, as a junior in high school, I’m on the debate team and recently spoke to a crowd of two thousand students during the school walkouts with a speech I wrote just hours earlier. I truly believe that participating in FBLA’s events gave me the tools I need to exude what is innately within me.”

Paige Censale and Makayla Buckley placed in regionals for the broadcasts journalism event. Photo courtesy: Paige Censale.

Participating in FBLA helped Paige, and many other students, to build upon skills that she withheld previously. FBLA enhanced her abilities.

Participating in FBLA is a challenge. Participants must be hard working and committed in order to succeed. Many determined members of FBLA compare this club to taking another advanced placement class due to the time each student spends on preparation. FBLA can be quite stressful at moments but it prepares students for real world situations in the work force and allows them the opportunity to improve.

FBLA events are not only for professional purposes – they also allow give students an opportunity to meet new people and learn from a variety of different seminars and speakers.

Pavanjeet Parmar, a sophomore attending Squalicum High School, is currently running for Washington’s FBLA state vice president position. “It was amazing to compete in three different events and also take on leadership opportunities,” she explains. “Moreover, it was inspiring to see so many people at the conference spending time to not only invest in their futures, but also the future of our country.”

Essentially, FBLA’s mission is to prepare students for the work world and give participants valuable skills that may open doors for them in the future. Christina Stevens, an educator at Squalicum High School, says that the purpose of FBLA is, “To bring students and businesses together in a way that’s beneficial to both, so students can learn and be better prepared for future careers, as well as businesses will benefit by having better prepared workers.”

This club allows students to attempt events in different areas of interest and discover what they truly enjoy studying. It’s an excellent opportunity to improve and develop a variety of skills that will be helpful for the rest of their lives. FBLA is preparing the upcoming generation to change the world. Although we’ve made immense improvements in our society, there is much that still needs to be addressed. Clubs like FBLA are guiding students to take the lead and be the change.

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