There are several competitive events that enable students to develop leadership skills. FBLA is one of them. FBLA stands for Future Business Leaders of America.
Most high schools have an FBLA club. Students in grades 9-12 can participate in FBLA. There are many different categories, including individual and group tests, mock interviews, speeches, presentations, and prejudged events. Students can compete in these events both individually or in groups of up to three people. Majority of these events build skills used in business. For example, Advertising, Business Law, Ethics, Management, etc. Apart from the many events which allow students to practice business skills, FBLA also includes some events where students can create products such as 3D animations, Computer Simulations, Desktop Applications, Short Films, and Websites which they will later present at competitions. If you are curious for detailed list of categories and events, then visit the Washington state FBLA site: http://www.wafbla.org/ .
Each student can compete in up to three different competitions with FBLA. The top 5 teams in each event at the regional competition then move onto the State competition. In the state level competition, the top 4 teams in each category are chosen to participate at the National competition. The venue for the state and national levels usually changes every year. In 2016, the state level competition was held in Spokane and the national competition was held in Atlanta. There is significant expense once a student/team reaches state/national level. Some FBLA clubs/teams organize fundraisers to help with costs.
The broad range of categories for FBLA may seem daunting at first. But guidelines are provided for participants to create quality projects. It is clearly explained how to accrue points towards a better score. For example, if they are creating a presentation then there are guidelines for what content they should include as well as a rubric explaining how they will be scored.
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash.com
Best part about FBLA is that once the students reach the state level, they spend three days attending seminars and workshops where they hear from experienced entrepreneurs and businessmen give their first hand experiences. That is a great experience to have!
Let us know what you think about an opportunity like this for the kids!
Author: Shilpi Gupta
Shilpi Gupta is a software professional who lives in Bothell, Washington. She is a mom of two and she enjoys vegan cooking and is very interested in topics related to kids education!