Brunswick High School’s chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America recently brought home the Region 3 Sweepstakes Championship trophy for the first time in the chapter’s history.
The chapter attended and competed in the Region Leadership Conference on Jan. 24 in Metter.
At the conference, the chapter also received recognition for having the largest local chapter membership. It will advance in the “Battle of the Chapters” competition.
Brunswick High’s FBLA members competed in several types of competitions at the conference, including tests, video projects and public speaking.
Anderson Huynh, a senior who competed in the digital video and public service announcement competitions, will be advancing to state. He spent months before the competition creating his videos.
“I started the video in October, and I finished it mid-November and submitted it,” he said.
Colby Griner, a sophomore, competed in a performance event centered on business ethics. His team won first place and will advance to state as well.
“You’re given a new topic each year, and so you and your partners, you have to come up with a speech and present it to the judges,” he said. “The topic this year was ethical issues in the automobile industry.”
Sixty members earned “Top 10” recognition, and 31 competitors placed highly enough to advance to the State Leadership Conference in Atlanta, March 23-25.
The chapter has never brought home the first place trophy at region before, said Erica Veal, a co-advisor of Brunswick High’s FBLA chapter.
“Savannah Arts Academy has won it every year since it’s been established, so this was our first time ever winning this,” she said.
Veal said about 50 students from Brunswick High will compete in the state competition, alongside around 6,000 students from around the state.
Brunswick High’s FBLA members are preparing now for the state competition.
“I’m trying to revise my video, to improve some stuff within it, like the sounds,” Huynh said. “This time I’m going to be talking about my video in front of the judges, so hopefully I can place.”
Mahenk Patel and Aakash Patel, who both competed in the testing portion of the region contest and will advance to state, said they’ve benefitted from their years in FBLA.
“My finance knowledge has greatly improved,” said Mahenk Patel, a senior who took a test in personal finance and won second place.
Aakash Patel said the competitions have helped him improve his confidence and speaking skills.
“When we go to state, you have to perform in front of judges about that topic,” he said.
Veal said it takes a team effort to do this well at the region competition.
“This is on our members, and that just shows the quality of the members we have,” she said. “It’s exciting for us. A lot of them are seniors, and we’re going to miss them like crazy, but they’ve set a great foundation for the future of FBLA here.”
Since the beginning of the school year, Veal said, the focus has been on making it to the national competition in Baltimore, Md.
“We focus on the bigger picture,” she said. “... We ask — what are you doing to get yourself to Baltimore?”
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