It is not every day that high school students are summoned to appear before the Kansas State Department of Education. But then, these are not everyday high school students. Great Bend High School Future Business Leaders of America members Sarah Niederee, junior, and Zachary Reynolds, senior, traveled recently to Topeka to visit with state school board members during a special meeting and citizenship day. Sarah is the Kansas Future Business Leaders of America state president and Zach is the vice-president of the FBLA district 5 region. “Sarah was assigned to talk about how FBLA has helped her make ethical decisions in business,” said Cody Lee, FBLA sponsor. “Through FBLA students can gain immeasurable skills that will be useful in the business world. One example is the ability to become professionally responsible with ethics and integrity,” Niederee told the board. “FBLA has personally enabled me to make excellent decisions in every club, organization and job in which I have been involved. “Recently, I applied and received funding through the Golden Belt Foundation’s Youth Engagement Grant for an FBLA competitive event,” she explained. “By accepting this grant, I undertook the responsibility of using good business ethics and integrity that I have learned through FBLA. “Through experiencing the local and state offices in FBLA (I have) learn(ed) the values of taking responsibility for a group of people. (I) must not only be responsible for (my)self, (but I) must make ethical decisions for (my) entire organization. “Whatever (a person) chooses to do in life, they will be working in some type of business. Whether it is a large corporation, a school district or even becoming an entrepreneur, (a person) needs the basic knowledge of responsibility in making ethical decisions with integrity,” she said. “FBLA prepares you to lead the next generation through attending leadership conferences, business competitions and inspiring workshops to better develop the skills that every student needs to be successful in the real world,” Niederee said. “Through these conferences the networking possibilities are endless; through our competitions the real-world experiences are phenomenal; and through our workshops come the inspiration to do bigger and better things. I believe our organization is centered on preparing students to lead the generations to come.” “Just one line in our FBLA creed states, ‘I believe every person should prepare for a useful occupation and carry on that occupation in a manner that brings the greatest good to the greatest number,’” she said. Niederee and Reynolds also had time to visit with state board members and network with other Career and Technical Service Organization state leaders. “They represented GBHS very well,” Lee said. “They had the opportunity to speak to the Kansas School Board about the importance of CTE programs and the things they have gained from Career and Technical Service Organizations such as FBLA, DECA and FFA. “The students who dedicate themselves in these organizations gain many skills they may not otherwise gain in a regular educational setting,” she said.