By Sarah Middleton
Students from Scott’s Branch Middle/High School competed in the 2019 South Carolina Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) District III Leadership Conference and placed in several competitive events on Saturday, February 2. The team will advance to the next round at the FBLA State Leadership Conference in North Charleston on March 22-23.
FBLA is a career and technical student organization that unites students interested in pursuing careers in business and provides them with the experience and insight on how to be leaders in the world of business. According to the organization’s mission statement, FBLA inspires and prepares students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.
“Students get the opportunity to gain certain knowledge and hone the skills that will enrich and develop their careers in business,” said Nikiesha Smith, the FBLA advisor for the middle school team. “They learn important employability skills such as, problem-solving, teamwork, planning and organizing, which I believe are essential characteristics required to be effective and efficient citizens of today’s society.”
“FBLA has such a positive impact on students. My goal is to strengthen their confidence and help them gain leadership skills,” said Latonya West, the FBLA advisor for the high school team.
Smith and West both believe it is vital that these students are exposed to the world of business early and this experience provides them with unlimited opportunities.
Each student who placed in their competitive event received an award medal at the district conference.
In middle school, eighth-grade student Rosandra Bennett placed first in Middle Level (ML) Business Math and Financial Literacy.
“I joined FBLA because I thought that it would be a new and exciting experience for me,” said Bennett. “I’m very glad that I gave it a try.”
In ML Business Etiquette, eighth-grade student Shidrea Bradshaw placed first. Eighth-grade student Jasmyn Hickson placed second in ML Career Exploration. In the ML Google Basics event, seventh-grade student Timothy Keels placed first and seventh-grade student Destiny Douglass placed fifth.
In high school, senior Sarah Middleton placed first in Client Service. The team of seniors, Letia Davis, Kadriyan Johnson and Sean Swaringer, placed first in Website Design.
“It’s our last year, so we had to make it count,” said Davis. “I plan on taking the leadership and networking skills from the organization to college and into my future career.”
In the Hospitality Management event, the team of freshmen, Shanna Middleton and Aiyana Ellis, placed second.
“I plan on continuing FBLA throughout high school because it’s fun getting to socialize and compete with other talented, young minds,” said Shanna Middleton.
If the students place at the State Conference, they will qualify to compete at nationals. The 2019 National Leadership Conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on June 29-July 2. The Scott’s Branch family wishes the students the best of luck.