Dundy County Stratton FBLA recognized with top honors

Thursday, July 14, 2016
National competitors from Dundy County Stratton FBLA, who competed at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, were Madison Lambley, from left, Bailey Peckham, Nicole Kent and Olivia Sis. Courtesy photo

BENKELMAN, Neb. -- More than 9,380 of America's best and brightest high school students traveled to the Peach State to CONNECT with top future business leaders and showcase their talents as they competed for the opportunity to win more than $179,000 in cash awards.

The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference was held June 29--July 2 in Atlanta. Participants from across the United States and abroad attended this exciting conference to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in more than 65 business and business-related competitive events.

Nicole Kent from Dundy County Stratton High School in Benkelman received national recognition at the FBLA Awards of Excellence Program on July 2. Kent competed in the Future Business Leader event and brought home second place. The Future Business Leader event is a combination event. In the preliminary round, students take a test over a broad range of business knowledge and interview with judges. Those with the highest scores move onto finals, where solely the finals interview is scored.

Nicole Kent received the runner-up Future Business Leader trophy at the FBLA National Leadership Conference. Courtesy photo

DCS students Madison Lambley, Bailey Peckham, and Olivia Sis also attended the National Leadership Conference. Peckham competed in Accounting II, Sis competed in Public Speaking I, and Lambley competed in Partnership with Business alongside Nicole Kent. Kent also received her America Business Achievement Award and her Achievement Community Service Award, the highest levels of these honors.

Dundy County Stratton FBLA also received the Hollis and Kitty Guy Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit, the Chapter Challenge award, and the National Outstanding Chapter award.

"Even though this was my fourth trip to National FBLA, it was just as exciting to qualify. I caught up with friends from across the country, experienced the city of Atlanta, and competed in the highly competitive and coveted Future Business Leader event," Kent said. "When they posted finals and my name was on the list, I was ecstatic. After my final interview, I knew I had a good chance of being called to stage as a top ten winner at the Awards of Excellence program. Because of the prestige of the Future Business Leader event, it is the last event called at the awards program, so I was pretty nervous throughout the program. When my name was called as a top ten winner, the entire Nebraska delegation stood and cheered. Listening to them list off the names on stage was exhilarating. The whole Nebraska delegation stood and cheered once again when I accepted the second place trophy. The whole experience is one I will not soon forget."

"With this being my first National Leadership Conference, there were a lot of new experiences to be had," said Olivia Sis, "there were engaging workshops, opportunities to meet students from all over the country, and of course, the honor of competing in Public Speaking I, which was the sole reason I was given the opportunity to attend Nationals. I felt rather nervous competing on a National level compared to a State level, but became more at ease when it came to performing my speech. While I didn't make it to finals in my event, it proved to be an amazing experience, and I look forward to having the chance to attend Nationals again in the future."

These awards were part of a comprehensive national competitive events program sponsored by FBLA-PBL that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers. In addition to competitions, students immersed themselves in interactive workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall, and heard from motivational speakers on a broad range of business topics.

About FBLA-PBL, Inc.

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the premier student business organization, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisers in over 6,500 active middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The association is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit fbla-pbl.org.

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