Eighteen Elizabeth High School members of the Future Business Leaders of America competed against nearly 2,000 students from across Colorado during the 2020 State FBLA Virtual Conference, with most …
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Eighteen Elizabeth High School members of the Future Business Leaders of America competed against nearly 2,000 students from across Colorado during the 2020 State FBLA Virtual Conference, with most placing in the top 10 of their various categories. Six of those students, who placed in the top four in their categories, will compete in the FBLA's National Leadership Experience this summer, which will be held online.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions placed on in-person learning and gatherings, the state event was held virtually this year, with students submitting their projects to more than 75 judges. A May 4 Facebook awards ceremony announced the state winners and national qualifiers.
Lori McCoin, a business teacher at Elizabeth High and an FBLA adviser, said despite the obstacles of distance learning, the students adapted and excelled in their given categories.
“I'm so proud to be a teacher because of what education has done in this pandemic,” said McCoin. “Students really had to do their projects a lot differently this year. Usually they present personally in front of a judge, which allows them to use some of the skills they've learned in FBLA and their own personality. This year they had to make and record their presentations on their computers or iPhones and send it in. There wasn't the usual interaction that comes with the competition.”
Nora Aslan placed second in the Accounting 1 category, Mason Reyher placed fourth in Agribusiness, Brandon Marshall took first in Personal Finance, Gracie Holm placed fourth in Partnership with Business, Kellen McCoin took fourth in Organizational Leadership, and Colton Arciniaga placed first in the Job Interview category. They will all have the opportunity to participate in the national competition this summer.
Gracie Holm, a junior at Elizabeth High, received honors based on a project she organized to raise money for the March of Dimes.
“We wanted to raise money for the March of Dimes, which helps mothers and babies,” said Holm. “In February we reached out to as many restaurants as we could in Elizabeth, Kiowa and Franktown, and asked them to donate 10 to 20 percent of their proceeds from one given day to the March of Dimes. We raised more than $1,000.”
Holm said her experience in FBLA helped prepare her for the fundraiser, as she used her knowledge of marketing and community relations to help make the event a success.
“We did a lot of advertising, printed about 500 fliers that we took to schools, businesses and restaurants, and we had bracelets for the restaurants to hand out,” said Holm.
“I was definitely nervous the first couple of times I approached restaurant owners and asked them to help. I'm naturally a little shy, but after a few time I found my groove and it was pretty empowering for me. I definitely learned through FBLA to be a little more outgoing and was able to talk to people I've never met before.”
State qualifiers will compete against as many as 7,000 students in the national event.
Students Bonnie Skalecke, Paige Burke, Sheered Larabee, Izzy McCarthy, Isabella Arciniaga, Jacob States, Alyssa Beebe and Kama Ferguson also competed in the state competition and placed in the top 10.
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