More than 10,000 of America’s best and brightest youth traveled to the historic city of Nashville to make some history of their own as they showcased their talents as future business leaders and vied for the opportunity to win over $165,000 in cash awards.
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL), the largest and oldest student business organization, held its National Leadership Conference in Nashville on June 29 through July 2. Participants from across the United States and two countries were in attendance for the conference to sharpen their core business skills, expand their networks, and participate in more than 60 business and business-related competitive events.
Grant Harris, Jami McVay, and Sarah Niederee, competing in Community Service Project, received national recognition at the FBLA Awards of Excellence on July 2. They brought home third place. This project, Kids for Our Community, consisted of 1/2 day community service days comprised at all elementary schools in Great Bend. The oral presentation consisted of describing the planning, organization, and impact on the community. For the finals, the students got to again give their oral presentation among an audience again describing and selling their project to the judges.
“This FBLA project became so much more than just a project; it was an amazing way to invest in our community and teach young children how important it is to get involved,” McVay said. “Seeing those students working together to serve our community was a life-changing experience. I feel blessed to have gotten the chance to touch the lives of so many young students.”
The team also competed in E-Business, but did not make the finals. Great Bend senior Zachary Reynolds also attended, competing in Job Interview. He competed against nearly 100 business students in the event.
During the conference, Sarah Niederee, a two time state FBLA president, campaigned for and won a national position as the Mountain Plains Region Vice President. According to FBLA sponsor Cody Lee, there were two other candidates, one from Nebraska and another from North Dakota. Niederee had to complete a formal application, document every financial aspect of her campaign, and speak at a formal caucus of her peers from the Mountain Plains Region.
“She even got a few schools and local individuals to assist in financing her campaign,” Lee said. “Members from all across the state handed out “Soar with Sarah” campaign ribbons, brochures stating her goals for candidacy, among other items.”
The mission of FBLA is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.