PNH FBLA Prepares for State Competition


Members of Parkway’s FBLA team show off their medals after doing well at district where several members qualified for state. Senior Riley Huelsmann received fourth place in Accounting 2, sophomore Gemma Fish placed first place in Introduction to Financial Math, senior Alejandro Garza Elosua placed second place in Personal Finance, freshman Michelle Grinko placed first place in Computer Applications, Garza Elosua & senior Rushit Patel placed second place in Business Management, and Patel also received the Wild Card in Business Calculations. All will represent North at State.

Parkway North’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) team will compete in the Missouri state competition from April 16-18 in Springfield, Missouri after several students qualified at the district competition on Feb. 15.

“We are really big into trying to make sure we have everything lined up for our district competition that we’re attending,” sponsor and team leader Carla Hertlein said. 

FBLA has existed since 1942, when the first high school chapter was formed in Tennessee. Since then, the organization has strived to prepare students to become business leaders and educate them about career paths and opportunities.

“I gain an understanding of the workings of business stuff and just overall knowledge,” said senior Rushit Patel, who qualified for state in Business Calculations and in Business Management. “It’s been a good experience to learn a lot about business.”

PNH’s team will compete in a number of individual and team events, such as Business Management and Business Calculations. Business Calculations involves the mathematics behind business, including data analysis, taxes, investment and bank records. It is a team event, meaning Patel works with a partner to prepare.

“We have events that are individual, and we have team events. It’s important for individuals to be able to coordinate their scheduled testing because we’re given a specific window,” Hertlein said. 

These events include tests that cover specific areas, as well as public speaking. Each event has its own criteria that students attempt to meet in order to score above their opponents. This gives FBLA a very dynamic competition, encouraging students to be proficient with both teamwork and being able to compete as an individual. 

“I’ve only done FBLA for a year, but it’s had a lot of value for me so far.” Patel said.

Students aren’t just competing for bragging rights. There are a number of scholarships available for both college tuition costs, as well as covering travel related expenses for competitions. 

The organization also has a number of service, education and progress projects that are meant to benefit communities nationwide. Each of those principles is on the FBLA crest, encouraging students to participate. One such project in Missouri is Show Me Hunger, which aims to combat food poverty and insecurity in Missouri through a number of food drives and other means of raising awareness. 

“I think there’s a lot they get out of it. They learn how to transfer their skills, and they can see how they compare to other students in other districts and around the state of Missouri,” Hertlein said. “They want to be able to transfer skills. They get to pick their interest, and so they can showcase what they know.”

North’s team will look to victory in the numerous events that they will participate in at states in April.