Submitted by Yosemite High School senior Phillip McLean
OAKHURST – On April 10, the Future Business Leaders of America Club (FBLA) traveled down to Ontario to compete in the State Championship. Before we could compete in the State Championship, we had to compete in the Central Section Leadership Conference to move on to State.
It all started when my brother Peter and I wanted to have a business club at our high school. Peter is a Freshman at YHS.
We talked to the school and found out there used to be a FBLA Club on campus. The school helped us get advisors. The next week, my brother and I went down to Delhi High School for Officer and Advisor Training day (OAT) where we learned the roles of the leaders.
With the new knowledge, we were able to vote the leaders of our club. Two weeks later we went to Leadership Development Institute (LDI) where we were trained about the roles of the club. A student from another high school taught us about his experience in the state competition.
After learning about FBLA we were ready to compete in the Central Section Competition. We wanted to compete in Sports and Entertainment Management, because of our experience in sports and entrepreneurship. We started studying for our competition and preparing for our test. We arrived thinking we weren’t going to get an award, because of our lack of experience. After our test we did not have high hopes on our placement test. During the awards ceremony, to our surprise, our club walked home with 1st place, 3rd, 4th, and 6th place plaques, automatically sending us to the State Competition.
Making it to the state competition was important to us because we did not expect to make it that far. The location of the state championship a conference center in Ontario, CA. My experience at state was that we were able to compete in our events and visit some workshops.
One of these workshops was learning how to persuade people using the words “you” and “your.” The second speaker listened to was named Ethan Sawyer. He showed a presentation on how to write a good college essay and how to make your essay sound amazing.
Our competitive events were: Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Hospitality Management. Unfortunately we did not place in the finals, but gained a vast amount of experience for next year.
“The trip overall was a great experience,” said sophomore Garrett White. “Not only did we learn a lot about FBLA and the leadership conference, we also got to network with other FBLA members state wide. I can’t wait to possibly attend next year.”
“The overall experience was great,” said freshman Chandler Clarke. “I learned a lot about how I act under many different situations.”
FBLA has taught me more than what I could learn on my own. The state competition allowed me to experience my first business competition and compete against others who want to win as much as I do.
Freshman Ethan McCully was equally impressed, saying, “This experience was very interesting and it helped us out a lot in understanding more about business. We will come back next year ready to win!”
“I had a phenomenal time at this conference,” agreed freshman Ron Luther. “We met tons of people just like us and were inspired to do better next year.”
After our experience with FBLA this year, we hope to expand our club and make it to the National conference next year. Our sponsors, Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions, have generously donated to our club and have allowed for us to travel to our state conference. We offer special thanks to our advisors, including Mr. Tony McLean, Mrs. Deanna Boortz, and our teacher Mr. Rusty Oetinger.
Pictured L-R are Tony McLean, Garrett White, Peter McLean, Phillip McLean, Ethan McCully, Ron Luther, Chandler Clarke and Rusty Oetinger. Click on photo to enlarge.