Mazama, Lost river, Bonanza and Gilchrist Chapters Compete at State – Sergio Cisneros, Mazama High School FBLA Advisor
Twenty-six students from the Klamath County School District will travel to San Antonio to attend and compete at the Future Business Leaders of America’s National Leadership Conference at the end of June. The students, who range from freshmen to seniors, represent one of the largest qualifying groups in the high schools’ recent history to attend the national event.
The students will be in San Antonio, Texas, June 27 to July 3. Students from Mazama, Lost River, Bonanza, and Gilchrist high schools competed in the FBLA state competition April 3 to 6 in Portland. The top four in each division will proceed to nationals.
The students going to nationals reflect years of experience in FBLA clubs across several different grade levels and high schools. One such student, Mazama sophomore Nathan Hantzmon, felt an urge to challenge himself. Hantzmon will compete in Management Decision Making on a team with fellow sophomore Kristalyn Hayes.
During the school year, students take part in regional and state-level competitions where each student selects a
specific category to be tested in. Students may need to pass a written exam before advancing to a hands-on competition, where they make a presentation pitch on a specific topic relating to business, technology, and career skills.
A packed field
The nationals-bound students will be joining 15,000 others from across the country. In each competition, they will face-off against hundreds of other students. Competitors who place in the top ten may qualify to make formal, in-person presentations to several judges on stage for the chance to earn a national ranking and title.
For senior Brazil Cisneros, who has previously been to nationals three times, but has not placed in the top ten, this year’s trip represents an opportunity for her to “really go for it,” she said. She hopes to make it to the stage for the opportunity to place amongst the top ten in the nation. Mazama senior Gordon McCreadie expressed similar thoughts about his final competition as a high school student.
Lost River Junior-Senior High School, for the second year in a row, has a state officer. Michelle Ruedas, a freshman, was elected Cascade Region vice-president. “I am super proud of her for taking this challenging step in her high school career,” said Ivan Hernandez, Lost River business teacher, and FBLA advisor. “This will challenge her boundaries and inspire other members to come out of their comfort zones.”
Lost River’s Alicia Venegas, who took first place in career exploration and business etiquette, was the first FBLA
member since the chapter began competing at mid-level to win first places at state, Hernandez said.
The competition also represents an opportunity for the FBLA members to meet other students across the nation, as well as bond with one another. Mazama junior Gabe Moran said he’s looking forward to getting to know his classmates better on the trip by spending time with them outside of school. Senior Gordon McCreadie said he is looking forward to having the opportunity to represent Mazama High School on a national platform.
Students have been fundraising for the trip by asking for donations from business owners, managing their student stores and by selling navel oranges. FBLA is a national organization designed to teach students business practices, college and career preparation techniques, business communication, and networking skills. The organization offers middle school, high school, and college-level opportunities.