By Jackie Ruiz, Editor
FBLA’s (Future Business Leaders of America) mission to inspire the next generation of business leaders has just begun.
According to assistant FBLA sponsor Jessica Whitmire, FBLA is an organization that helps prepare students for careers in business through academic competitions, leadership conferences, and educational programs.
“These students develop an understanding of what being a good leader is by inspiring them to be community-minded and building strength and confidence in themselves and their work,” she said.
Whitmire added that FBLA students have the opportunity to make friends and earn award recognitions and scholarships.
This is Whitmire’s fourth year as assistant sponsor. She said that her favorite part is watching students laugh and learn together.
“One of the most impactful things as a sponsor is to watch students build their confidence,” she said, “It is always so inspiring to reflect back on past students and know how much they grew in self confidence.”
She added that students get the opportunity to “intermingle with other like-minded and driven students.”
Meetings were previously held at CPI (Career Pathway Institute), but current FBLA students have started discussing other possible meeting times and locations.
FBLA is currently in the process of recruiting more members. Current FBLA students Destiny Lucero, Shawnee Urbauer, and Kevin Parra Vazquez have presented in freshmen classes to educate them on what FBLA is and how to get involved.
“They created an interactive presentation about FBLA and some of the freshmen seemed to have quite a bit of interest,” Whitmire said.
Members are encouraged to attend as many events as possible including volunteering events, industry tours, and club meetings.
“For a student to be eligible to compete in competitive events at state, there is an expectation that students participate in a minimum number of activities and these minimum requirements are set by the elected student leaders,” she said.
As FBLA continues to grow, each member starts to play an important role in the organization.
Lucero and Urbauer help organize meetings, set up fundraisers, and run the FBLA Twitter page. Vazquez’s role as secretary is to make sure everyone financially pitches in, and Reagan Kort, who also plays a secretary role, has a focus on being a freshmen representative.
Lucero has been involved in FBLA for three years and said it was her mother who encouraged her to join.
Lucero said that she’s become more interested in the IT Department since she started writing codes for FBLA projects and presentations.
“We’ve done a couple of projects in the IT Department as well as a lot of community service acts,” she said. “FBLA has allowed my perspectives to grow and has made a lot of my opinions on community service stronger.”
Lucero added that a large part of FBLA is learning about businesses, but the other part is earning money for different charities, organizations, and competitions.
“At competitions we do different projects, presentations, and some people improvise with help desks,” she said.
She added that FBLA teaches a lot of great skills like business planning and scheduling.
“We encourage people to join for the experience. You don’t necessarily have to be interested in business to join,” Lucero said. “FBLA is also for people who want to explore and try new things that they are interested in.”
If students are interested in joining, please contact Scott Fox, advisor of FBLA, or Whitmire. Students can find their emails and information on the daily student announcements.