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|Parish FBLA Club visits Atlanta for national conference|
On Monday, June 23, nine Franklin Parish High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) boarded the charter bus that would transport them to Atlanta, Ga. All the hard work, planning, and fundraising over the past few months had finally paid off.
The next morning, we joined 200 other members from Louisiana FBLA as we toured the World of Coca Cola, CNN, and the Georgia Aquarium. Later that evening, we traveled to Stone Mountain where we watched the musical laser show. On Wednesday, we met for a fun-filled afternoon at Six Flags over Georgia.
The conference kicked off the next evening with the opening session where 7,500 motivated students took their seats. Attendees received a warm welcome from Jean M. Buckley, President and CEO of FBLA-PBL Inc. Up next was the Keynote speaker, Heather Schultz, who talked about her belief in young people and the important role they play in our world. Ending the session were the national officer candidate speeches.
The following days were jam-packed with workshops, seminars, and event testing. Workshops included working with the March of Dimes, increasing chapter membership, and selecting a job, there were also inspirational and leadership exercises, all of these fitting in with FBLA's motto of: Service, Education, and Progress. According to R. Zacher, "The workshops are what drive the conference, not only do they have a good message, they also aid in networking with people from around the nation."
Of the seven FPHS attendees, all competed in events at the national level, which is quite an achievement for our chapter. Competitors included Taylor Spann in FBLA Principles and Procedures, Jon Peoples and Michael Young in Digital Video Production, Derek Newman and Ericka Hufford in Business Presentation, Emily Roberts and Kenny Blackson in the Community Service Project, Kenny Blackson in Economics, and Taylor Spann in the Local Chapter Annual Business Report. Kenny Blackson, Taylor Spann, and Emily Roberts were part of the campaign team to elect Beau Foxworth national president. Tests and presentations were held on Friday and Saturday, and professional dress was required while competing.
During the Southern Region Recognition Meeting, Franklin Parish FBLA was recognized as a Hollis and Kitty Guy Gold Seal Chapter of Merit. Derek Newman was recognized for his completion of the Future and Business Levels of the Business Achievement Awards. Taylor Spann, Jon Peoples, and Kenny Blackson were recognized for completing the Future Level of the Business Achievement Awards.
Franklin Parish High School is proud to be home to the Louisiana FBLA State President ñ Kenny Blackson. Throughout the conference, Kenny represented the state of Louisiana in various events such as the Parade of Presidents, the Southern Region Presidents Report, and the Institute for Leaders. He presided at all Louisiana State Chapter Meetings and served as one of the two Louisiana State voting delegates. Mr. Andrew Ducote, State Adviser, presented Kenny a gift of appreciation for all of his hard work and dedication at the NLC.
Words cannot describe what was felt when the finalists were called. In the end no one from FPHS placed, but there were no hard feelings.
"Of course we were disappointed, but the overall experience outweighed all those feelings." said Ms. Lyles, "It's amazing to see how competitive events are run at the national level, and although none of us placed, we learned a lot from the experience."
FPHS FBLA would like to, once again, send their thanks to the faculty and staff of Franklin Parish High School -- without their cooperation, this experience would not have been possible. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Tan Blackson for assisting Ms. Lyles in chaperoning students on the trip. Special thanks must be given to Franklin State Bank, Winnsboro State Bank, and Progressive State Bank for their financial support. None of this would have been possible if it wasn't for the tremendous community support and dedication.
Contributed article by D. Lyles, Chapter Adviser
Representing Franklin Parish High School at the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference are pictured (front l to r) Taylor Spann, Ericka Hufford, Emily Roberts, and (back l to r) Derek Newman, Kenny Blackson, Michael Young, Jon Peoples, and Debbie Lyles.