GF students headed to FBLA nationals

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Three Green Forest students will be heading to Atlanta this summer to compete at the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference.

FBLA sponsor Marilyn Bonhan said this marks the fourth consecutive year Green Forest High School has competed at the conference.

"I'm very proud of these students," Bonham said. "It's a lot to their credit that our chapter keeps making it to the national level."

Nick Luebbering and Naomi Castillo won first place for their submission to the mobile application development category, and Carter Boggs received fourth place in the introduction to business event at the FBLA State Leadership Competition on April 4 and 5.

For the mobile application division, students were asked to create an application to help FBLA members with their outfits, Castillo explained. Castillo and Luebbering designed an application called "Green Room" for the state competition. Castillo said the application lets students upload pictures of their formal outfits and get feedback on them.

"You have to dress in formal attire for the FBLA competitions and sometimes students struggle with that. Our job was to fix that problem," Castillo said.

To make the application, Luebbering said he and Castillo first sketched designs on paper to figure out what all of the screens and features in the application would look like. From there, Luebbering said they created the code for the application by using Apple's development software. Luebbering said the final step was creating an interface builder file that helped transfer the paper sketches into a digital format.

"We gave a presentation and a demonstration of the app to three judges at the state competition. All they really said after was that we did good work and laid the app out well," Luebbering said. "Then it turned out later we won first place!"

Castillo and Luebbering have a window of time to make any changes or improvements to their application before the national competition. Luebbering said he plans to make the visual sharper before resubmitting the application.

"I want it to have a cleaner look on the iPhone 6 and other newer displays," Luebbering said.

Bonham said Luebbering and Colin Stimson placed third in nationals in mobile application development last year. The same group could not compete in that category again, she explained, so the students reshuffled into new teams.

"There was a cash prize for first place last year. And even if we don't win that, the recognition we will get will be great for college applications," Luebbering said.

Boggs placed first in introduction to business at the district level before moving on to the state competition. For his event, Boggs said he took an hour-long test on economic and business policies. To prepare for nationals, Boggs plans to borrow old economics textbooks and practice tests from Bonham.

"I'm going to study, study, study," Boggs said, receiving an approving nod from Bonham.

He continued, "I've never been to Atlanta before. I'm excited to see new things and meet new people while at nationals."

Bonham pointed out how the Green Forest School District provides the funds for FBLA to travel and compete at the state and national competitions.

"Our school district is so wonderful for supporting our FBLA students and giving them the opportunity to keep excelling," Bonham said.

The FBLA National Leadership Conference will take place from June 29 to July 2.

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