- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Northern High School’s Future Business Leaders of America once again went to national competitions, this year held in San Antonio, Texas, June 28 through July 3.
A record-breaking 23 students attended this year’s competition and national conference, many of whom are seniors from the 2012 graduating class of Northern High School. NHS FBLA participated with more than 10,000 students, a press release states. This was the first year that the FBLA was able to produce all four state reports, which included Community Service, Partnership with Business, American Enterprise and Local Chapter Annual Business Report. Not only did they produce all four 30-page reports, but all four ranked first in the state of Maryland, a first for Northern’s FBLA. Each project entailed writing a 30-page report outlining the year’s project, as well as a seven-minute presentation before a distinguished panel of judges when they competed at the state level at the end of April. The report counted for 50 percent of their score and the presentation represented the other 50 percent. For each project, the teams scored above 90 percent, a very high score for the state level, according to the release.
For the Community Service project, this year’s emphasis was helping military families, appropriately entitled “Silent Ranks.” Throughout the year, the community service coordinators, consisting of Lauren Griffin, Katie Cano and Chelsea Accipiter, alongside several other member coordinators, planned and executed 13 events for military moms, spouses, active duty members and their children. The last was a Mom’s Day Out where moms were treated to salon, spa and nail service at local businesses. Nancy Cohen, advisor of FBLA, stated in the release, “The coordinators have worked tremendously hard for this project and I could not be more proud of them.” FBLA would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Kirsten O’Neill, founder of Military Wives Matter, for being FBLA’s military liaison throughout the year, the release states.
For the Partnership with Business project, Northern’s chapter partnered with Prime Time Children’s and Youth Activity Center. While there, the three coordinators, Michael Wise, Moriah Davidson and Katie Vitale, alongside eight other key members, learned the intrinsic workings of this successful center, the release continues. While FBLA helped coordinate, plan and assist with many of Prime Time’s annual events, members also shadowed their employees, learning the computer database system, helped with record keeping and daily tasks, assisted with tax filing and receipt input, learned effective customer relation skills, assisted and filtered daily phone calls, marketed and promoted events, assisted with the review of state and national accreditation policies and helped with an ongoing project, “A Day in the Life of a Prime Time Child.” The members that chose to become involved in this smaller-scaled project learned a vast amount of daily business operations and wish to thank Brenda Tyrrell, owner of Prime Time, Eileen Sweeney and Tracy Case, as well as the entire Prime Time staff.
For the American Enterprise project, the chapter coordinators chose to focus on financial literacy, an ongoing important topic at Northern High School, the release states. Since 2006, two other projects for NHS FBLA have been centered around financial literacy. This year, Brittania Howard, Brandi Constantino and Brent Canter chose to work with the United Way of Calvert County and teach financial literacy. Particularly, the students worked with the End Hunger in Calvert County program as tax coaches for its tax clients. Students helped file more than 30 tax returns this past school year and hope to continue this project in future years. FBLA coordinators also planned several courses for their FBLA peers; in total, eight classes that ranged in topic from insurance coverage, understanding a paycheck and taxes, developing SMART goals, saving and investing, the life cycle of financial planning and savings tools. In addition, the three officers hosted a workshop at the regional FBLA conference, teaching students from six other high schools in Southern Maryland, and hosted various guest speakers, including Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. Northern FBLA would like to thank the following individuals for their support and contributions to this year’s American Enterprise project: Lynne Gillis, Huntingtown High School business teacher, Mary LaBorie, Jennifer Moreland and Robin Truslow, all affiliated with UWCC.
The last of the four 30-page reports is the Local Chapter Annual Business Report. This year, this report was created by Nicole White and Alexis Baione, two outgoing senior officers. This report details the chapter’s productivity, local, state and national recognition, participation at various conferences, service to the school and community, leadership development, cooperation with business and professional groups, chapter management and organization and financial development. For the first time, NHS FBLA beat out nine other schools from across the state to receive first place in Maryland. White represented the report at the national level in Texas.
The following members achieved one of the top spots in their individual events after advancing from the regional level and represented Maryland at the national competitions: Nicole Asaban, Lauren Buckholtz, Kaitlynn Ford, Lauren Griffin, Brittania Howard, Jaclyn Knight, Kelsie Mathieson, Skylar Mealing, Mike Newman, Courtney Roby, Allison Schleicher, Nicole White and Michael Wise.
According to the release, FBLA also thanks numerous businesses and families for sponsoring its national competitors. The trip in total cost the FBLA chapter more than $30,000.