FBLA welcomes 1400 guests for Area V Conference

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Payton Biskner

At the FBLA Area V Conference, hosted by the high school’s local chapter, two students were awarded prior to the event. Valentina Cavazos, junior, was one of the selected to “Who’s Who”. Both Cavazos and Freddy Baquiax, freshman, worked at the registration desk at the conference.

-“And that’s why one should always settle debates with fellow co-workers before they become out-of-hand.”

The student smartly clicked the remote a final time, revealing a closing slide consisting of the major points of his presentation.

The judges barely glanced over the trivia before their pencils descended upon the awaiting assessment sheets. This mere action filled the student with terror as they inscribed line after line of dark, graphite judgement upon the milky white sheet. After what seemed an eternity had passed, the judges finally set down their pencils and articulated, “Thank you for your time. Will the next student please enter?”

On January 12, Jersey Village High School hosted the FBLA conference for the first time.

“Honestly, I was excited for the event because not only my team but other teams [got] to have exposure [to] what a real career field would feel like. For example, they had business plans [and] presentations, so if you experienced those, you’ll truly felt like it was going to feel, like how it’s going to feel later in life,” Josh Pelingon, FBLA club president, senior, said.

Designed to help members develop their leadership, networking, career development, and social skills, the conference consisted of 1400 students and volunteers from 40 different Texas high schools. The students competed in 30 different events that related to business including but not limited to public speaking, 3D animation and web design.

Loree Waddy, business team leader of CTE, took on much of the responsibility for organizing and operating the conference. Luckily, many FBLA members and the business department teachers assisted throughout the extensive process, subsequently providing a learning experience on how to plan and execute a conference of such proportions.

On January 12 the high school hosted the FBLA Area V conference for the first time. Students like President Joshua Pelingon, senior, and Vice President Anna Macejak, sophomore, had the opportunity to showcase their abilities as promising business people. Macejak received a third place for “Management Decision Making.”

“The conference was actually organized by myself as well as operated by myself, along with the help of, the week of the conference I had help from the business department teachers. Prior to that, about eight students, members of FBLA, would stay after school and assist me with various tasks for about three weeks prior to the conference,” Waddy said. “[This gave them] a chance to see all the details behind the scenes that are involved in a conference of that size.”

Simultaneously a thrilling and stressful experience for all, the conference tested the resolve of everyone involved.

“It’s very nerve-racking, especially if it’s something you care about,” Anna Macejak, FBLA club vice president and sophomore, said.

And yet, rookies and vets alike felt optimistic about their abilities and performance at the event, especially having had a few months to cultivate those skills in preparation.

“[Ever since I’ve started FBLA] I have improved my communication skills and continue to prepare for future conferences in hopes of placing higher,” Anna Thi Tran, senior, said.

Valentina Cavazos, junior, agreed with this sentiment.

“I was proud I competed and got the opportunity to participate in the competition, [in that] when I perform, I feel happy that I am doing something I really like. I also feel proud of myself for opening up myself to new experiences like competing and working with other people as a team,” Cavazos said.

At the conference, students seized the opportunity to showcase their abilities as promising businessmen and women before professionals. These competitions ranged from ordinary test taking to presentations to public speaking. In this way, they received feedback on their current skills and how to improve.

“There were many professional business people and I think that was amazing because you can get some feedback from real professionals and get a feel of what it truly feels to be a real businessman or woman,” Pelingon said.

If students finished their competitions early or hadn’t competed in the first place, they had the opportunity to visit one of six different workshops throughout the day. There, the students could learn from experienced businessmen and businesswomen how to manage finances in college in College 101, the must-haves to creating a sustainable business in Launch, Build, and Grow a Profitable You, and the basics of acquiring real estate without losing money or credit in Millionaire Minded Teens: Creative Real Estate Investing.

Payton Biskner
The FBLA Area V conference consisted of 1400 students and volunteers from 40 different Texas high schools. The students competed in 30 different events that related to business including but not limited to public speaking, 3D animation and web design.

“We had six different workshops that were going in coherent with the competitions that the students were participating in. So, if the students, as they finished their competitions, if they finished early, they were able to go to one of the guest workshop sessions. If they did not compete, they were also able to attend one of the guest workshop sessions,” Waddy said.

The speakers also shared the challenges they’ve encountered in their field and how they overcame those obstacles.

“It [gave me] a chance to meet a lot of experienced people and got to hear their challenges and how they overcame them,” Tran said.

The conference served as a wholesome and positive experience for FBLA members. Their mission statement states how they strive “to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences,” and the conference did exactly that.