FBLA honors: Green Forest students shine in competition
By Haley Schichtl
Thirteen Green Forest FBLA students placed in the district competition Friday, Jan. 31, in Mountain Home.
These students qualified to go to the state competition in April in Little Rock.
Kendall DeMeyer took first place in Accounting II, Aron Divall came in first in Accounting I, Henry Holtkamp came in first in Political Science, Austin Booth came in second in Cyber Security, Jacob McMahan came in second in Agribusiness, Abby Smith came in third in Healthcare Administration, Madison Smalley came in third in Public Speaking, Tess Long came in fourth in Introduction to Business, Isabel Cenobio, Misael Cifuentes and Antonio Flores came in fourth in Hospitality Management, David Aguinago came in fifth in Economics, and Todd Wellborn came in sixth in Business Communications.
Most students competed by taking a 100-question test in an hour, but a few of them had different tasks.
Smalley gave a speech about how FBLA gives students confidence for the public speaking category.
“My examples were how they help students visualize their goals and step out of their comfort zone,” Smalley said. “It had to be a five-minute speech.”
Cenobio, Cifuentes and Flores were in a group together in the hospitality management category.
“We did a role-playing scenario,” Cenobio said. “They gave us a scenario of a hotel and their issues, and we pretended we were the management and came up with solutions.”
DeMeyer came in first place in the accounting II category after taking a long test.
“Mine ranged from accounting math problems to basic accounting terms,” she said.
FBLA adviser Marilyn Bonham said she announces when it is close to time for the students to sign up for an event and those who participate are volunteers. Most of those who participate are seniors, she said.
“I don’t put pressure on them; I want them to want to do it,” Bonham said. “That way, they are more accountable to themselves.”
She said the students choose from a list, and then she tells them the guidelines and objectives of each topic. She said FBLA’s website has practice tests online for the students, and she usually tries to provide them with textbooks or packets.
“Pretty much, it’s up to them. We don’t hold any special study sessions or anything like that,” Bonham said.
Bonham said if the students make it to nationals and place in the top five they get a trophy and a monetary award. She said usually the national competition takes place in late June or early July. This year, it’s in Salt Lake City.
“Last year, we went to San Antonio and I took four students. Two were competing and the other two went and attended workshops to learn about … career direction and college prep,” Bonham said. “Our school helps us a lot with funding trips, and we get some donations from some local businesses. … The conference is a four-day conference and you’ve got a travel day on each end, so it’s quite expensive.”
Smalley said she is in FBLA for the experience and networking opportunities.
“It provides a lot of confidence for your future, and you get to meet other people,” Booth said. “Everyone wants to do their own thing, whether it’s be a business leader of America, we want to provide for ourselves, and eventually become something more than we are right now.”
“It’s a good group of people; everyone here’s a good resource to have to speak with and bounce ideas off of,” Holtkamp said.