Glynn Academy Sees Rapid Growth for FBLA Chapter | Newspapers in education
The Glynn Academy Chapter of Future Business Leaders of America enters the new school year after wrapping up a previous year of significant growth capped off with a trip to the national competition in Chicago, Illinois.
For the first time in 16 years, Glynn Academy students qualified to represent Georgia State at the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Chicago, and they won national awards.
Eight members of the newly active chapter competed in national championships. Olivia Jarrell, Jalen Mays and Sara Jane Veal ranked fourth out of 91 teams in the Local’s Annual Activity Report.
Jarrell was one of 20 students nationwide to receive the Capstone Award, the highest level of the Business Achievement Award program.
And during the conference, which took place from June 28 to July 2, members also attended workshops, networked, and learned skills in leadership development and teamwork.
“It was amazing because we got to meet so many people from all over the country and meet all the different state officers,” Jarrell said.
Other national competitors were Lexi Veal and Chelsea Yates in Broadcast Journalism, Katie Hickson, Sara Jane Veal Abigail Winford in Intro to Social Media Strategies and Anthony Tortorete in Open Networking Events.
The students also took the time to visit the Windy City. They visited Cloud Gate, Navy Pier, Willis Tower SkyDeck, Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry. They also attended a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
Chapter advisor Erica Veal moved to Glynn Academy last school year after 16 years at Brunswick High, where she also served as an FBLA advisor. She wanted the chapter to be more established in GA, as it has long been in BHS.
“I loved watching the team of officers start with a goal of ‘Let’s just have 50 members’…and see them go over that and go over it and say, ‘OK, let’s go to 75,'” Veal said. “And then we got to 100 members.”
Lexi Veal and Yates created a show for the broadcast journalism competition covering topics related to sports, civics and world news. They wrote the script, created graphics, and added video components that shaped the overall production.
“I learned better presentation skills,” Yates said. “We both had to write the script, and collaboration and teamwork were really needed in our project.”
Sara Jane Veal said she was able to highlight the successful year of the Glynn Academy chapter during the competition.
Chapter enrollment has grown significantly over the past year, and student members have played an important role in cultivating interest in the FBLA on the Glynn Academy campus.
“We all worked together as an organization to meet people at school,” Mays said.
As of 2020, the Glynn Academy FBLA chapter had no members, said Sara Jane Veal. But in 2021, the chapter has grown from 50 members to over 100.
The students hope to expand the group further this school year.
Reasons for joining include life skills development, networking opportunities and career planning, the students said.
“FBLA lets you network with lots of people all over Georgia and even every state,” said Sara Jane Veal. “These people you talk to and meet, you have no idea, they could be the next great businessman in the world.”
The Georgia FBLA program emphasizes alumni involvement, said Erica Veal, and encourages alumni to maintain a connection with their high school chapters and contribute to student success.
“You don’t know, they might be a reference on your app,” she said. “I believe the FBLA does a great job building their resumes individually and supporting them with networking.”
Mays said the FBLA prides itself on being the largest student-run organization in the nation.
The competitions provide opportunities for students with almost any interest, Erica Veal said, from technology to finance to journalism and more.
And these events give students hands-on practice in areas they might want to pursue as a career.
“Performance events can help you figure out what you want to do in the future,” Lexi Veal said. “I’ve always dreamed of being a sports broadcaster, and doing broadcast journalism showed me what it would be like. It can help you find what you want to do.
It was teamwork, however, that led the students to national competition, Jarrell said.
“We all worked really hard together and we all put in a lot of effort,” she said.