KO students battle for a spot at the state FBLA conference
Beginning on April 10th, twelve Keystone Oaks students will travel to Hershey, PA, in order to compete in the Pennsylvania State Conference for Future Business Leaders of America-- along with 5,500+ other high school students and staff.
FBLA events cover a variety of business-related subjects, such as Business Law, Securities and Investments, and Accounting, but according to sponsor Beth Smith, the club is “very well-rounded, and not only for people interested in business, though students often think ‘I’m not going into business, so there’s nothing for me to do there;’ on the contrary, the club encompasses other subjects such as design and programming and creates a wide opportunity that shouldn’t be discredited for the title.”
The events require online multiple choice tests as well as speaking events, and can be individual as well as team-based. The club has had a visible legacy of success over the last 12 years, never failing to sport state qualifiers and producing national competitors four times.
Smith commented that “every year at least 20 students carry through to the state level,” breezing past the challenging objective evaluations and performances for which students study up until the annual December Regional Conference, which has always been held at Keystone Oaks. Additionally, Smith has seen “the Desktop Publishing and Word Processing events consistently do well. In fact, almost every trip we’ve had to nationals included someone in one of the two events.”
Last year, Keystone Oaks graduate Mallory Stump joined two current seniors for the National Conference in Chicago, Illinois, competing in Word Processing and joining 12,000+ other attendees in one of the only nationally recognized clubs offered to high school students. Stump placed 7th in the nation.
Smith has traveled to Chicago twice for National Conferences, and has also taken students to Anaheim, California, and San Antonio, Texas. Following the State Conference in April, the National Conference will be held at the end of June, this year in Atlanta. Smith looks forward to another round in Georgia, for which she sees great possibility among the 12 state attendees, especially as the organization has decided to revise qualifications from the top three spots to the top four, giving an additional individual or team the opportunity to progress to the next level.
Additionally, Keystone Oaks will be sporting two teams in the Desktop Publishing event (Team 1: Seniors Laura Poliziani and Amanda Buckley, Team 2: Seniors Ashley Ferrari and Taylor Priore), in which the school has seen consistently positive results. Smith confessed that “though the students have to work hard to do well, the club provides the opportunity for a great reward” and students are especially looking forward to this year’s trip because for the first time, they will be going to Hershey Park.
Smith is sad to see “a number of very dedicated seniors graduate this year” but recognizes that “many underclassmen have taken an interest in the organization, eight of which competed at the regional level this year, and will hopefully return in the years to come.”