I am a proud 3-year member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). I have been involved in this competitive and future-preparing group since my freshman year, even when I attended my old school, Ashland-Greenwood High School. This group has helped me build numerous positive relationships with others that share this common interest, while additionally has worked to build my communication, leadership, and business capabilities. Overall, the people involved, including my peers and leaders, have been nothing shy of uplifting and helpful.
Though it was scary joining as a freshman with absolutely no experience in business at all, every single member involved has always done their best to encourage inclusivity and support. This aspect makes FBLA such a positive and safe space for all, regardless of experience. Coming from another school and seeing how the same attitudes were reciprocated by the girls of the Mercy High School FBLA chapter, I became very aware that this is a common notion throughout the entire FBLA community.
While encouraging teenagers to step out of their comfort zone and engage in a new experience, it also helps promote diversity within the career path. Oftentimes, business leadership is seen as a predominantly white-male led eld, so FBLA provides an outlet for women and people of color to be introduced to and get involved in business early in life. It is a completely open canvas since all high school students are fully eligible to join regardless of background of every sort. As an Asian-American woman, it is very refreshing to be given this benet that oers such an advantage for those like myself. I am beyond grateful to be given this amazing opportunity, as it gives me such a great head-start for many amazing skills that I will be able to apply as I get older. FBLA helps students improve skills such as quick problem solving, entrepreneurship, public speaking, media and computers, and functions of business; all to prepare us for adulthood.
Furthermore, the biggest time of the year for FBLA members across Nebraska is the State Leadership Conference in Kearney. High schools and middle schools from all across the state come together to take part in competitive events and tests that build their expertise in a wide array of categories relating to dierent forms of business. There are competitions that cater to every member’s interests and strong suits. While at this three-day conference, students are able to interact with and meet hundreds of other members from schools they may have never even
heard of before. It gives everyone a chance to make plenty of new friends and bond with the members of their own chapter throughout the few days. Personally, I have been able to build such stronger connections with my peers and make so many close friends, solely by spending time with them at this event. Each girl is so supportive and shows an extreme amount of pride for all the successes of one another. It is such an empowering experience to be surrounded by our tight knit circle of benevolent and caring young women, as well as all the other competitors at this event.
Being involved these past three years has been an ongoing learning experience filled with joy, laughter, sadness, and genuine connections with others.