36 North Penn students qualify for FBLA state conference


Ansh Sharma (left) and Ryan Gant (right) announce names to organize students into presentation groups. Ansh and Gant both qualified for the state championship.

TOWAMENCIN- Ten high schools gathered at North Penn High School on December 5th to participate in the annual FBLA Regional Competition. North Penn has hosted the regional conference since 2008. This year, 36 participants will move on to compete in states.

The Future Business Leaders of America Regional Conference involves a wide variety of events students can participate in ranging from Global Business to Broadcast Journalism. There are about 100 students in FBLA and around 70 North Penn students participated.

“The kids can compete and pick the events they want to do. Some are performance events, so that requires a panel of judges. Others are just online tests. The online tests, [students] take at their own schools and the performance [events], they have to come to North Penn and perform in front of the judges,” explained Linda Westerlund, the FBLA advisor for region 20.

Some online tests are taken individually, while others can be completed with a group of two or three students. This allows students to discuss the possible answers together in order to effectively complete the test.

I did the Banking and Financial Systems event with my friend Chris Killion, which is about U.S banking and the different types of ways to invest. We were really excited to find out we made it to states because we both made it to nationals last year, so hopefully we can do it again,” said senior Emily Liu.

Senior Nicole Albright competed in the Word Processing event at the regional competition. This two-part  individual event tested her knowledge on Microsoft Word. Albright participated in a similar event last year involving Excel and won first place at the state competition.

“The first part is a multiple choice style test that asks questions about functions within Microsoft Word along with other things like grammar and punctuation. The second part tests our ability to apply the information from the first part to an actual Word document. [There] are multiple jobs that all come with specific directions to create exactly what the judges are looking for.” explained Albright. 

All 36 students who qualified have the opportunity to travel to Hershey Pennsylvania for the PA FBLA State Conference. The state conference is organized similar to the regional competition but on a larger scale with around 4,500 students participating.

“A lot of the [events] are preliminary, and then finals. One example is Management and Information Systems. It’s an online test. Three kids sit down and discuss it, then the top either 12 or 15 students who score the highest on the test, they then have to go in for a presentation portion,” described Westerlund. 

The events at the state conference begin at 8 AM and could last into the night. Students who place high in an event will have the opportunity to compete in the national competition in June.

“Every single year since 2004 we have gone every year to nationals. I’m hoping we can keep that streak going because this year it’s in Salt Lake City Utah and I’ve never been there. So I hope a student will take me to Salt Lake City,” added Westerlund. 

The Future Business Leaders of America provides high school students the opportunity to discover ways to become business leaders in global society. The wide variety of events presented at FBLA conferences allows students to apply valuable skills that will be helpful in the professional world.