“Basically the students have to put together a portfolio of events and kind of a plan of action for what we want to accomplish over the year, and you have to have so many members in order to qualify, you have to have so many volunteer events in order to qualify — it’s a laundry list of things you have to do,” Business Instructor and FBLA Advisor Shannon Boyer said. “Based on the number of points you’re awarded, you [can be] awarded Gold-level status, and then we actually got entered into a national competition and we were awarded the merit award. That put us in the top 15 percent of chapters nationally based on our Gold-level status.”
She said the CHS FBLA chapter met about three times between the end of school and beginning of school and put together a plan to meet its goals for the next year and garner points.
“We sit and strategize about what we need to do throughout the year and come up with a monthly plan of action in order to meet those goals; we set goals for ourselves as far as fundraising because that’s one of the standards in order to qualify ...,” Boyer said. “Then we developed a recruiting plan and then we had to do some community service. So we’re really fortunate to have in place a mentoring program, and the kids in FBLA can leave my class once a week and they’re paired up with a [student] at the elementary or primary school so they go over there and they tutor or play games with them. And it’s usually those students who aren’t getting a lot of attention at home.”
Members also have to compete in various business topics such as Business Ethics, Microsoft Word, Word Processing I and Desktop Publishing on the regional and state level.
“Last year we had 184 members, so comparatively, for an organization club [where] we meet once a month and we have point systems for all of our members, we are definitely the largest [club] on campus as far as involvement and the number of kids we have involved,” Boyer said.
The club had between July 2012 and May 2013 to meet goals and garner points for the competition.
“What’s nice about FBLA is that even though we don’t have it in our middle school ... but it’s at the middle school level, the high school level and the collegiate level,” Boyer said. “What we do in our chapter is we prepare them by having these monthly meetings with leadership topics, we have people from the community come in [as] guest speakers and talk about getting a job and their experiences in the workforce. We also do leadership training within each of those meetings for our monthly members and talk about resume skills and how to land an interview and what to do on the interview, dress code and things of that nature.
“We encourage them to get involved by giving back to the community. We offer a host of volunteer opportunities through the club [and] we feel like service is a large part of that. It gives the kids a bigger scope, we often go in the fall to Athens so they get to see the University of Georgia at a leadership conference; we take them on business field trips [like the corporate headquarters of Chick-fil-A] ... and to local businesses.”
Calls to the current and former CHS FBLA presidents were not returned at press time.