Mariner High FBLA members headed to state
Business students at Mariner High School will travel to Orlando next month for the Future Business Leaders of America state competition.
On Feb. 18, the 13 members of Mariner’s FBLA club faced off against other students in the district competition and earned high marks — including five first places, four second places and two third places.
Ronda Amaya, assistant principal at Mariner, said the club members prepare all year in different subject areas — Accounting, Business Law or Spreadsheet, for example — and compete at local and state competitions. During the competitions, the students take written or oral exams in their subject area, which are graded and the top scores are awarded first, second or third.
Student winners from last month’s Lee County competition received a trophy and eligibility to move on to the state level in Orlando.
“They kind of swept first place in many of the events,” said Amaya, who pointed out that one of the first place winners was a 10th grade student among juniors and seniors who have been in the club longer.
Amaya said the experience of participating in an FBLA competition expands the horizons of every student.
“They get their socks knocked off,” she said. “They’re looking to be in business when they’re adults, and they’re getting their first taste.”
Most of the club members have never stayed at one of Orlando’s major hotel chains or participated in such a formal event, she said. One student didn’t own a suit for the district competition so a faculty member at Mariner High donated one.
Students who are in FBLA for two years or more, and follow the club’s criteria, are also eligible for scholarships to college, she said.
Any members who perform well at the state competition may be invited to the national level, which Amaya said is typically held on the west coast. Currently, the Mariner High FBLA club is trying to raise funding just to attend the competition in Orlando.
She said the club needs $3,300 to send all of the students to the event next month and they are $1,200 short. They have already held car washes, a bake sale and faculty donation drive, but unless they come up with the money on Friday, Amaya said each student will have to pay $100 out of their pocket to attend.
The club is currently looking for donations and is asking local businesses to sponsor their program. Anyone interested can call Deborah Adkins at 772-3324.