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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

FBLA members progress to States

Christopher King
Bright futures. A total of 24 FBLA members attended the annual regional competition at Saint Francis University. The business attire is an important aspect of these competitions. “There’s an expectation to dress formally and act like a good, upstanding citizen,” King said.

Members of Future Business Leaders of America competed at the annual regional competition at St. Francis University on Jan. 24, 2024. 16 Altoona students placed in the top three of their respective competitions. Many of these students will go on to compete in state competitions in Hershey on April 7-9. 

FBLA is a competitive club that puts students in positions to learn about and participate with different facets of their future careers. The tasks a student must complete at regional, state and national conferences varies from taking tests to putting together products to public speaking. The expectations at competitions change regularly, not unlike the ever-evolving world of business that many of these students are aiming to be a part of in the future. 

“Something that disappoints me is that so many students walk through the halls and are impacted by the world of business in so many ways, but they have no idea that we teach business education classes at the high school,” club adviser Christopher King said. “FBLA is one of the ways they can get into that.” 

FBLA equips its members with  several skills such as networking, public speaking and project management. These skills carried 13 students to qualify for state competitions. Additionally, Jake Yohn and Connor Matosziuk placed as state finalists in Computer Game and Simulation Programming, a state-only competition. 

“I think we have a really good chance of doing well at States this year,” club president senior Camryn MacAlarney said. “I hope our performance transfers well enough to send some club members to nationals in Orlando.”

Chances of good performances are high because of the combined efforts of the many club members and the guidance of adviser King. 

“I can’t do the work for them, but I try to guide them and advise them on what their strengths might be,” King said. “I find an event that they would do well at with their personality and their study habits or their interests. At the end of the day, though, they have to be willing to put in the work.”

Junior Saturnino Yohn placed second in Cyber Security, qualifying him for state competitions in April. He was required to complete a 50 minute long 100 question test. He studied intently ahead of the test, and his efforts secured his high placing.

“I definitely learned that time management, especially with studying, is really important if you want to succeed,” Yohn said. “I think these skills will apply to my future career and help me become successful and efficient.”

Students going to state competitions will be able to use what they have learned in FBLA in their future careers. High placings at state and national competitions reflects well on future resumes, but the most important thing according to King is that these students get exposed to such an important part of the world.

“People think differently and act differently beyond these walls, and trying to get them out and expose them to that is important to me,” King said. “That’s the idea: get these kids exposed to all of the possibilities that this great world has to offer, not just the little bubble that we tend to live in.”

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