FBLA students plan for internationals in Baltimore

Published 2:55 pm Monday, June 18, 2018

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Demopolis High School’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is heading to the National Leadership Conference in Baltimore where they will compete against FBLA chapters from all over the world.

Ten students will be representing DHS after winning 19 awards and receiving 21 recognitions at the state conference. They were recognized at the highest level possible.

“This year at the state level we did exceptionally well,” FBLA Advisor Kelly Gandy said.

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Because the chapter did not find out that they were eligible to compete in the national conference until mid-April, they were left with approximately two months to raise the $30,000 needed to attend.

Gandy said that $6,800 is still needed towards the trip with $3,000 of that directly tied to the students’ costs. The remaining $3,800 is for the seven chaperones attending.

“My goal is to have every student’s balance paid for through fundraising,” Gandy said.

The students have been hard at work fundraising for the national conference. They’ve sold doughnuts, cooked chickens and raffle tickets to win a Mother’s Day basket. Batter-up Sports Bar & Grill also hosted a trivia night with FBLA, and members have approached local businesses requesting donations or sponsorships. Georgia Pacific recently presented a donation of $2,000.

In addition to fundraising, the FBLA students have been working on their competitions, whether that means studying for a 100-question, multiple-choice test, practicing a speech, revising a paper or fine-tuning a presentation. Students are also attending Champ Camp on June 16 to be given coaching to help them with their competitions.

Gandy said this is the first year FBLA is competing in more than just test competitions and that the number of students attending has more than tripled compared to last year.

“I’m hoping that we have more of a chance at placing in something because we are bringing three actual events that require presentation, and I’m hoping our students can shine through and elevate their score more than what just a simple test would be.”

Jake Jacobs, who is the first DHS student elected as District 3 Vice President, has had additional responsibilities and costs associated with the conference including a uniform, additional training and hotel rooms during his training.

Gandy also said that she is grateful for the generosity of Demopolis in donating to FBLA each year.

“One thing I just want to express is the appreciation I have for Demopolis and their businesses and how they have continued to support FBLA and support our students.”

To sponsor a student or donate to the organization, contact Gandy at kgandy@dcsedu.com by June 24.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, June 9 issue of the Demopolis Times.)