The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Gables’ 2023-2024 FBLA is Here, and They Mean “Business”

Matthew Castano
Alongside fellow FBLA members, co-president Balery Quiñonez poses proudly with her medal after a huge win in District 26.

At Coral Gables Senior High School, the Future Business Leaders of America club thrives splendidly, offering fertile grounds for individuals to flourish. Within FBLA lies opportunities for every aspirant to partake in competitions aligned with their passions, granting them access to higher ranks such as state and national levels. FBLA promotes civic and personal responsibilities among students in business and related fields, developing vocational and career-supportive competency. The club’s grand accomplishments would not be possible if not for the dedication and absolute passion of its board members.

When she first heard about FBLA, Balery Quiñonez was in her sophomore-year accounting class. Starting out as a regular member at first, Quiñonez made sure to remain active in the club, building her portfolio up for her junior year where she would apply for a board position. She was quick to take action, initiating the now well-known Dippin Dots fundraiser, though it is one of many achievements she has acquired through her time as a board member.

Strongly encouraging new members to compete in competitions, Quiñonez helps bring light to opportunities to incorporate students’ interests and hobbies into the process. As they look into the upcoming competition season, she believes their “Sales Presentation” will be her top category due to her strong passion for public speaking and presenting

“I also ran to become an FBLA district board officer, which I proudly achieved, and I am now a District 26s historian. I without a doubt showed passion and interest from the very start which really helped me become a co-president. But besides all of that, honestly, it is just the actual experience of being in the club that can inspire anyone to want to take on a leadership role,” said senior Balery Quiñones said.

Seeing as she maintains a position on CavsTV’s editorial board, Noa eagerly anticipates the “Social Media Strategies” competition, where she expects to use her eye for multimedia. Having been a passion for several years, Belehssen expresses deep gratitude for having discovered a club where her interests in social media and business align and prosper.

“Getting the position of co-president of FBLA took consistency and dedication because I had to go through being on FBLA’s Board of Competitions which is arguably the most time-consuming and exigent board. I had to do a lot of work and learned a lot about FBLA which is why that then when it came to picking new presidents, I showed knowledge and experience in the club,” said senior Noa Belehssen.

Upon his arrival at Gables, Mr. Reisert discovered that FBLA was already under capable guidance from another educator – with gratifying outcomes ensuing consequently. However, given his prior experience serving as an FBLA advisor at three other schools before joining Gables, he assumed command while she remained available for valuable assistance. In doing so, they managed to sustain positive momentum for the organization without missing a beat along the way.

This year, Reisert and his board aspire to improve upon the previous year as the membership count soared past 200 individuals. Encouraged by this unimaginable feat, Reisert and the board resolve not only to exceed member numbers this year but also to enhance student involvement and competitiveness in equal measure. It is their aspiration that an abundance of students will qualify for state-level competitions and demonstrate resolute participation in community service initiatives whilst achieving commendable fundraising results.

“The greatest growths I’ve seen in students, are the ones that are involved in FBLA. Since FBLA is so huge, it is highly recognizable among colleges. Also, FBLA has the word business in it, so that’s already good for students who are majoring in business; it additionally has the word leader and I think colleges and universities are looking for students who take on leadership,” said Mr. Reisert.

As they look forward to a year of both competition and fun, Mr. Reisert, alongside Quiñonez and Belehssen, will strive to continue improving the experience of every FBLA member. With improvements surrounding fundraisers, community involvement and bonding activities, FBLA will be open to a variety of new opportunities, who knows what the board has up their sleeves next?



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About the Contributors
Valentina Gomez, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Valentina Gomez is a freshman in the International Baccalaureate program in Gables. Although it may be her first year in CavsConnect, she is looking forward to a fun academic year. She enjoys playing sports she is bad at. When you see her, she is talking or laughing with her friends. She would say she speaks three languages but putting her pride apart, she speaks two languages and a half. The other half is French. Her favorite color is any shade of pink. She loves winter along with Christmas. Most of the time, you will see her with her AirPods on full volume listening to Brent Faiyaz or Frank Ocean. When she feels like it she paints, which probably happens once a year.
Matthew Castano, CavsTV Staff
Meet Matthew Castano, a talented junior in high school who serves on the boards of FEA, FBLA, and AOF. With a passion for videography and photography, Matthew uses his creativity to capture vivid moments and bring ideas to life. He is dedicated to excellence in all his endeavors and strives to make an impact on those around him. Don't be surprised if you see Matthew behind the camera or leading a club meeting - he is a natural leader with a heart for service.
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