Award winners: GF FBLA students advance to state competition
Green Forest High School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) brought home several awards at the District VI Spring Conference on Friday, Jan. 19, at Arkansas State University in Mountain Home.
Madison Smalley won first place in Introduction to Public Speaking. Carter Boggs won first place in Economics. Tyeisha Poyner won third place in Introduction to Information Technology. Kendall DeMeyer won third place in Introduction to Business. Braden Smith won fifth place in Cyber Security. Antonio Flores and Gabriela Salazar placed fourth in Hospitality Management.
The students qualified for the FBLA State Leadership Conference in Little Rock this April.
“It always feels nice going the extra step,” Boggs said, “and getting a trip to Little Rock.”
FBLA adviser Marilyn Bonham said she is proud of her students.
“I was very proud of them,” she said. “I think they surprised themselves almost. They did really really well.”
The students said Bonham helped them prepare for district with mock tests and study guides.
For Introduction to Information Technology, Poyner said she studied a packet of previous mock tests.
“I had to remember the basics of everything and some random information,” she said. “I’m looking forward to experiencing state. I was surprised I even placed.”
Boggs, DeMeyer and Smith said they reviewed practice tests for their subjects as well.
“Cyber Security is about what you do to protect information,” Smith said. “It was an objective test, and [Bonham] gave me big packets of tests and vocabulary that explained what all the abbreviations mean and stuff like that.”
“We had missed several days for snow, so we had a lot of studying to do last minute,” Bonham said.
In addition to practice tests, Boggs said he got some help reviewing economics from Coach Bobby Bishop.
“I went back to Coach Bishop because he taught me economics when I was a freshman,” Boggs said, “and brushed up on some basics.”
For Introduction to Public Speaking, Smalley said she had to write a speech about the goals of FBLA and present it in front of a group of judges.
“You get this list of FBLA goals that you have to choose to write a speech on,” she said. “It has to be between three and a half to four minutes, and then you go present that in front of a couple of judges.”
Smalley said she is looking forward to competing at the state level this April.
“I enjoy competing at the FBLA conferences,” she said.
Bonham said Flores and Salazar competed in Hospitality Management as a team.
“They first had to take a test,” Bonham said. “If they placed high enough there, they got to move on and do the scenario portion.”
Flores said the judges presented them with a piece of paper that told them the scenario in which they would demonstrate their hospitality management skills.
“We had to do it for a restaurant,” he said. “They had some issues going on, and we had to solve them.”
Salazar said she and Flores used study guides Bonham gave them to prepare for district.
“We used the study guides we got online,” she said, “and we’ll be doing the same thing for state.”
While Bonham is thrilled to have several FBLA students headed to state, she said she is proud of all her club members for the community service they perform throughout the school year.
This fall, she said FBLA organized a canned food drive at the Green Forest School District, which benefitted both the Beth’el Baptist Church and Green Forest United Methodist Church food pantries.
“A lot of these kids helped with the competition we do on each campus,” Bonham said. “The classroom that brings in the most donations gets a pizza party.”
She continued, “By the time you counted the cash donations, we collected over 6,000 items that we were able to give to the food pantries.”
She said the FBLA students also serve guests at the Green Forest Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet.
“The Chamber donates money to the club for our community service projects,” she said, “and we use that to pay for the pizza parties and things like that.”
The students said they are looking forward to the state competition in Little Rock. Boggs said many of them are hoping to qualify for the national competition, which will be held this summer in Baltimore.
“I’ve never been to that part of the country, so it would be cool to take a trip there,” he said. “I always like meeting new people at state and networking. Plus, the food is always good.”