FBLA Leads Students to District Success



Future Business Leaders of America members got ready for their trip to Miami Dade College District competitions.

Sofia Cruz, Staff Writer

For the past two weeks, Gables’ Future Businesses Leaders of America club has held performances and tests for its members. These events have occurred because of the Miami Dade County Public Schools district competitions for business leadership clubs and classes in its schools. After months of preparations through meetings, students finally got the opportunity to show off their skills and participate. The participants worked hard to prepare for their individual assessments for the chance to win awards and advance to States.

The first set of contests occurred on Friday, Jan 10. Cavaliers kicked competitions off with the performance events. Members met up in Mr. Reisert’s room in the morning and took a bus to Miami Dade College. Once they got to the auditorium, they were seated with opposing schools. As they waited, those in each event were called by their designated project and taken by a student aide to the classroom they would perform in.

Students competed in rounds such as Client Service, Entrepreneurship, Public Speaking, Marketing and much more. Each subject had a specific topic. For example, some students had to present speeches concerning the nine core FBLA-PBL goals.

There were both individual and team performances, the latter of which consisted of several members teaming up to create collaborative projects. As they presented, judges evaluated their performances using a guided rubric.

A total of 44 Cavaliers signed up to demonstrate their skills in business for that round. As soon as everyone finished, the students and advisors had lunch and then took the bus back to school to complete the academic day.

“I chose Public Speaking because I like writing and expressing myself and I know I’m good at it. I had to speak about one of the FBLA goals and the significance behind it for five minutes. To prepare myself I wrote a speech that I was pretty confident in. I soon learned it does not matter how well written it is if it is not your inner voice, for it must come from within,” junior Fiorella Merlos said.

The following morning, Jan. 11, performance events continued with the rest of the competitors. This time, a smaller group of only 24 students was sent to represent Gables. They still exemplified the spirit and passion of Gables by spending a Saturday presenting projects.

Members had to arrive at Mater Academy High School at 8:30 A.M. They competed in events concerning Coding and Programming, Computer Game and Simulation Programming, Parliamentary Procedure, Management Information Systems, Mobile Application Development, and Network Design.

All students speaking before judges were required to dress in business attire, in order to depict the school and themselves in a professional manner. In an effort to instill proper business practices at a young age, any students that disobeyed these specific instructions could face disqualifications or a deduction of points.

The following week held the final day of competitions and finalized everything with objective tests. On Tuesday, Jan 14, the last group of members gathered to complete written assessments designed to evaluate their knowledge. Unlike the previous events, these tests were taken at Gables itself, in Mr. Reisert’s room.

The classroom was crowded and silent, as club members took their exams on the computers. Students were quizzed on a broad range of business topics, such as Accounting, Agribusiness, Business Calculations and more. These competitions were split into two different sessions. The first set of students was occupied from 7:30 to 8:30, while Session two lasted from 11:00 to 12:00.

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After competing for Introduction to Financial Math, I can definitely say I learned a lot. Competing for FBLA meant having to work in a timely manner, studying and preparing for the event. It taught me how to be disciplined and focused.

— freshman Mia Cabrera

On Thursday, Jan 16, students were able to learn how well their presentations and tests went by attending the district awards ceremony. Members traveled to the Robert Morgan Educational Center to earn awards and found out if they received any awards. Each category was announced with the top performers. Overall, a total of 45 competitors placed at districts, qualifying for states. One Cavalier, junior Caitlin Peters, was even elected to be the Florida FBLA District 26 District Secretary. After a long day of celebrating their successes, the kids went to the Dadeland Mall food court to enjoy a well-deserved lunch.

“There was a lot of anticipation and excitement. FBLA is a competition based club so if you put in hard work you will get amazing results. The feeling of having your names called and going on stage to get your medal is very fulfilling. I competed in Parliamentary Procedure. It is actually one of the more challenging competitions, so winning first place was absolutely amazing. This will be my fourth and last time attending FBLA states, so I am excited to compete at the state level with my friends and sad it will be my last time,” senior Adriana Meijaard said.

Business Leaders of America club is meant to prepare students for their business careers. With these competitions, members of the club were able to do just that. Preparing for the events allowed them to develop skills that would be useful in future opportunities for school and leadership paths.

Members gained knowledge about business rules and regulations and practiced their public speaking and speech writing skills. The District events were a great way to gain experience and earn recognition for hard work. Those who did well enough to qualify for States are wished the best of luck by their fellow Cavaliers, and will proudly represent our school while trying for a chance at Nationals.