Heading to FBLA nationals


Photo by and used with the permission of Melissa Schwarz

At the Illinois FBLA State Leadership Conference, five LZHS members qualified to head to nationals: Manit Amin, senior; Jonathon Han, junior; Sohan Vuppala, junior; Rohan Vuppala, junior; and Grace Sun, freshman in various events.

Advancing to nationals, five Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members from LZHS will be competing with members from all over the country this summer.

Taking place from June 29-July 2, 2022, in Chicago, FBLA members will be competing to take the top prize in a variety of events, despite “business” being in FBLA’s name.

“There are events like journalism, business calculations, economics, [events] like that. For presentations, you can do sales presentations to compete in, and there’s also public speaking. You can also code a game and it’s really cool,” Sripriya Ravela, freshman, said. 

Ravela chose to compete in an event called “Intro to FBLA” in which she had to compete in by taking an hour-long objective test in which she placed 8th in the state. Her test demanded knowledge consisting of general information about how FBLA is organized, the FBLA handbook, national publications, and more. 

To prepare for their events, “members worked individually or in groups to prepare for their testing and presentations. For presentations, members studied their chosen topic and prepared presentations while honing their interpersonal skills. For test events, students explore their subject matter,” Melissa Schwarz, FBLA sponsor, said.

To advance into nationals with their event, however, competitors are required to place in the top four for in-state competition. Making it into the top four demands work and dedication from each and every student. 

“Beyond placing in the top four for State, these students have grit. It takes a lot of work and determination. These students go above and beyond to be the next leaders of this generation. They stay organized and involved in their community. They believe in themselves and surround themselves with people who boost them and inspire others to do the same,” Schwarz said. 

According to the FBLA Competitive Events Guideline, the purpose of competitive events is an “integral part” of the mission of FBLA because they “prepare students for successful careers in business by providing opportunities to apply classroom concepts in a workforce-simulated competitive environment.”

As someone planning on going into business herself, Ravela says that FBLA has allowed her to learn and practice skills that she can take outside of FBLA.

“[It’s] an opportunity for you to grow leadership skills and communication skills and overall knowledge in business. It prepares you for the world after high school. It’s a really good way to get used to talking to people and putting your voice out there,” Ravela said. “It also gives you an insider look on how adult life is because there are many different topics and events in FBLA that prepare you for the real world.”

Schwarz also recognizes the ability FBLA has to teach students beyond just business and hopes they can take what they’ve learned to Nationals.

“I would love to see them bring back awards at Nationals, where we can celebrate as a Lake Zurich High School community. What I think is most important is that they believe in themselves and have the self-esteem to connect with people, learn from each other, and step outside their comfort zone,” Schwarz said.