Neshaminy’s FBLA club wins regional competition

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FBLA stands for Future Business Leaders of America. There are over 214,000 members nationwide at the high school level, and more than 5,250 chapters. The purpose of FBLA is to bring together education and business in a positive way. They hope to create more interest in and understanding of America’s Business enterprise and develop aggressive business leadership.  

On Dec. 14, 72 students competed for Neshaminy’s FBLA club in the Region 12 competition. Forty of the kids that competed won or placed in the competition, and 36 of those students are moving on to state competition. The regional competition was at Delaware Valley University, and the state competition is at the Hershey Lodge, where the club hopes to win and advance to the national competition that will be held this summer in Anaheim, Calif.

The advisers for the club are Janis Innocenti and Theresa Madison, both of whom are business teachers. The 2016 – 2017 officers are Neel Patel, President, Danielle Helstrom as Treasurer, Brianna Fredericks is Co-Treasurer, Rachel Lewandowski as Historian and Rebecca Bertel is Co-Historian. The vice presidents are junior Drew Hindman, sophomore Greg Drapkin, and freshman Steven Muller.

FBLA is the largest business education student organization in the world. There are many benefits to joining FBLA at Neshaminy High School. Students develop leadership skills and practice business scenarios through regional, state and national competitions. FBLA is recognized on student portfolios for college enrollment. Students make new friendships through club activities, students experience intrinsic rewards by volunteering time to a non-profit organization,  Innocenti and Madison explained.

“We are very proud of all the students. Neshaminy has always done very well every year and we always take a large group to states,” they commented in regards to 36 out of 40 Neshaminy FBLA members placing in the state competition. “We have done very well.”

The stats on national winners over the past years are as follows:

  • 2016 Networking Concepts – 10th place
  • 2015 Business Plan -11th place, Sports Management – attended but did not place
  • 2014 Business Mathematics 3rd place
  • 2010 attended but did not place, Cyber Security
  • 2009 Database Design & Applications 7th place
  • 2008 attended but did not place, Computer Applications
  • 2007 attended but did not place, Word Processing II
  • 2006 Computer Applications 1st place
  • 2004 Entrepreneurship 10th place
  • 2004 Job Interview 4th place
  • 2003 Computer Applications 2nd place
  • 2002 Computer Applications 1st place
  • 2000 Computer Applications 8th place
  • 1999 Computer Applications 10th place
  • 1998 Computer Applications 1st place
  • 1996 Word Processing 1st place

“In this club, I look forward in being able to compete at the Regional, State, and National Level. It all starts off with choosing the topic that best interests me, then it comes down to studying, and taking the test. For most individual events, you take a computerized test. And then finding out at the Regional Competition, whether or not I’m eligible to go to States,” Patel said. “FBLA is a club for anyone interested in developing leadership, communication, and teamwork skills. Also, having FBLA written on your college applications and resumes will make you standout over the others, as it is a organization that is well known around the country.”

“First a topic is chosen,” Vincent Capaldi, senior said, describing how the competition worked. “This ranges from anything from agriculture to securities and investments. Upon choosing, the person begins to study for the regional level competition. Compared to state level testing, regional testing is very easy. States are a very big deal for FBLA. The second you leave the hotel and enter the center you must be in full business attire. I saw a person get kicked out of dinner because they weren’t wearing dress shoes and a girl was not allowed to enter the award ceremony because her dress was a little bit too high above the knees.”

“My favorite part of the club is our regional trips to Delaware Valley College,” Payal Patel stated.  “It is fun to compete and place in our events. It is also cool to meet people from other schools that also participate in FBLA.”

“In one word, I would describe FBLA as intriguing,” Nora Okwara, senior, said. “When competing in the competitions, we learn so much about recent topics. One year, I learned about GMOs, this year I learned about the Cloud. In FBLA, you honestly learn so much.”