FBLA achieves early success at districts

Briana Sandoval , Staff Writer

In less than a year, the newly established campus chapter of Future Business Leaders of America already is a force to be reckoned with. More than 25 members brought home first- and second-place trophies from their first-ever district competition at the ESF boardroom in Viera on Monday.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I first joined FBLA, but districts taught me a lot. I learned how to conduct myself professionally and to speak in front of others,” FBLA Secretary Summer Rhodes said. “ It was nice because the judges were experienced professionals, and they gave me some really good critiques after my presentation. My favorite part of districts was hearing what the judges of the competition had to say after my group’s presentation.”

The junior also mentioned that even though her group will not be advancing to the state competition, it will continue to work diligently to improve for future competitions.

In addition, FBLA President Joanna LaTorre said the progress of the club leading up to districts exceeded her expectations.

“I had a really good feeling from the very beginning of the school year that West Shore would somehow receive most of the awards this year at district competition,” the junior said. “The process of preparing everyone took a while and was stressful at times, but in the end, I was so proud that my vision for the club came true. I think there’s something special about competing and earning an award after a lot of preparation.”

LaTorre said she already is starting to plan for the next competitions.

“I think that everyone can always improve on presentations, so I want to start integrating certain activities that involve many of the members’ communication skills,” she said. “Also, the next FBLA state competition is coming up in March, so I’d like to help those who won first place at districts prepare for it. The state conference is always anticipated as it’s one of the most exciting events of the year, and seeing all of our efforts as a club come together really is the greatest feeling.”