FBLA Competes at State

by Keaton Nelson

Four Ouray High School Future Business Leaders of America competed at a state level April 5-7 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center in Aurora. There were three days worth of informational workshops, presentations, and competition, as well as fun activities around the resort including mini golf, basketball, tennis, and swimming.

 Future Business Leaders of America is a way for young students around the nation to compete with others in business and science topics by presenting in front of a judge or multiple judges who rate their performance based on state requirements. Joining the Future Business Leaders of America is a great way to learn about potential job opportunities we may be interested in, while also attaining knowledge on how to start one’s own business, deal with money, and be responsible with hard-earned cash.  

 Junior Kortlan Nelson, who unfortunately could not attend the state conference this year, “never really joined FBLA.” Instead, he said, he was “first brought into it through Ms. James in [his] freshman year,” and has “done it every year since.” Kortlan likes “experiencing different topics” from the wide variety to choose from and compete in. Participating in his last year of FBLA is on his agenda as a senior. 

There are certain requirements we look for when someone is eager to join Ouray FBLA. Our obligations include a good GPA, a positive attitude and personality, reliability, and leadership. We believe in helping the community and showing pride in our work is the way to be a successful leader. To do that, every Fourth of July, President’s Day, and Veteran’s Day, members of the group get up bright and early and set up flags around town. Kortlan likes how “we fundraise by putting flags out and taking our time to give back to those who support us.” 

The past few months have been a great experience for me, a freshman, new to FBLA. I teamed up with Catcher Latta and Kortlan in a graphic design project. Our presentation went great at the district tournament, and we earned a spot at state. Sophomore Elizabeth Ray and senior Pallen McArdle also made it to the state level in their events. 

Catcher “loves state FBLA” he said: “not only the memories, but also the experience it gives.” Catcher tends to lean more towards the leadership aspect of FBLA instead of the business part. He has been considering becoming a state officer, but he “does not know if I’m going to do it.”

After a 6 ½ hour drive on April 5, Catcher and I presented on Your Space, a non-profit organization we imagined for in our graphic design competition, but our scores were not quite enough to get us up on the podium during the Closing Ceremony on the 7th. On the other hand, Pallen performed well enough in her Public Speaking event, to place in the top ten. While Pal was heading to the stage, she thought about all the “worries and revision and a ton of practices” that took her to the stage. She stated that she “was really glad for this opportunity to learn more about myself.”

If she wants to, she can pursue FBLA at a higher level in college. Pal found her final state experience “exceptional,” as she “loved getting to meet people from different schools and listening to their perspectives.” 

FBLA is for any students who want to become leaders and a part of the community. It certainly has helped me become a better speaker in front of judges who rate my performance. For Kortlan, “it makes it worth my time and effort because it takes me out of my comfort zone to try new things.” 

I never thought I would be interested in topics that involve marketing, advertising, entrepreneurship, and overall dealing with money and learning strategies revolving around it. Future Business Leaders of America has opened that gate for me, and I will continue to compete and learn through FBLA.