Thursday, March 12th, 2020
Celina FBLA students perform well at state event
Takin' care of business
By William Kincaid
Celina High School Future Business Leaders of America students Kobey Simpson, fr. . .
CELINA - A baker's dozen of Celina High School Future Business Leaders of America members recently turned in outstanding performances at the state competition, placing in the top 10 in 12 competitive events.
The Celina students, all decked out in formal business attire, went head-to-head at the State Leadership Conference in Columbus against 460 other students, including many from much bigger districts. The contest featured 70 business-related events. Top-four finishers qualified to compete in the finals this summer in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"I am very proud of our FBLA members, not only for the awards they won but the way they represented Celina schools at the state conference," adviser and high school teacher Carol Bader said, adding this was the largest group of Celina students to attend the state event.
The students at the two-day competition also participated in workshops and networked with business professionals, Bader said.
"There is nothing better as teachers and advisers than to see our business students develop their skills and knowledge and successfully compete against students across Ohio," she said.
Senior Gaven Nash and junior Kobey Simpson said Celina's FBLA is a formidable force to be reckoned with, as it is recognized by other competitors at the state level.
Nash, who served as a state FBLA vice president for two years, walked away from the competition with a first-place showing in "Who's Who in FBLA," which he said is the state award for most FBLA achievements over the last four years, and a seventh place finish in advertising.
"There were around 17 different schools there and my freshman year in Celina we had about five or six members and this year we ended up with more than double that amount," he said about Celina's FBLA. "I think if you study for it and you know what you're talking about, I think you can beat anybody if you really put your mind to it."
Nash said he takes pride in knowing he helped strengthen the program by encouraging his classmates to join FBLA.
Simpson took ninth place in accounting and was elected state FBLA vice president.
"It kind of died out for a while here (at Celina), so four years ago we brought the program back. There was an interest with students," Bader said about FBLA.
She teaches accounting, business law, college and career readiness and other high school business classes and along with high school business teacher Christina Sutter advises FBLA.
Celina's FBLA program is open to any student who completes a high school business course, Bader said. The group meets monthly and focuses on preparing for competitions by taking online tests in numerous areas.
The students can engage in areas of their interest, whether accounting, finance, communication or banking.
"It definitely looks good on their resumes and for scholarship applications," Bader noted. "It increases their confidence."
Nash joined FBLA his first year in high school.
"My freshman year I was really looking for a career path because I didn't know what I was really wanting to do, and I found that FBLA was a club that was starting back up," he said.
That year he took tests in financial math and business communications and placed within the top 10 in the state in both categories. He and Lauren Higgins, a senior and Celina FBLA president, competed at the national competition at Baltimore, Maryland, two years ago.
Simpson said he found out about FBLA through Nash and Higgins, and joined to bolster his understanding of business and social skills, noting he was somewhat shy at the time.
"Once I got in FBLA I was really outgoing and just got involved with a lot of things in Mercer County related to business," he revealed. "In FBLA you can kind of choose where you want to get more skills and that prepares for the business world."
Both Simpson and Nash through FBLA narrowed their business focus, with Simpson homing in on financial management and political science and Nash concentrating on management/leadership. In fact, Nash will study business management at The Ohio State University in the fall.
Nash, who has participated in wrestling, football, marching band and student council, said FBLA stands out in his school experience as a career pathway.
"I try to focus on that a lot more because I want to be as successful as I can, and I think business is the way that I'm going to go with my life," he said.
FBLA advisers will seek to boost membership this spring, Bader said.