After qualifying from the state conference in March, 11 students attended the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Chicago, June 28 to July 3.
To compete, 10 students took objective tests consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions. Junior Charlotte Wu won the State Champion title in the category Introduction to Business Communications and went on to compete at Nationals. “My category dealt with specific grammar and terminology used in the business world. I studied mostly by taking a lot of practice tests and using Quizlets, but I also made sure to review grammar rules,” Wu said.
Recent graduate Emilin Mathew competed in the Public Speaking category, performing a five-minute speech after she also won the State Champion title. “My speech examined business goals of perseverance and I connected the larger theme to myself on a more personal scale. It felt extremely empowering to be able to speak to people and share my message with them,” Mathew said.
For recreation, the team enjoyed Chicago delicacies such as Portillo’s hot dogs and deep-dish pizza. Dessert tacos, late-night ice cream and International McDonald’s completed the trip. They visited Chinatown, a local dog park and even toured the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in their downtime. On the last day, students went sightseeing to see The Chicago Bean – sometimes known as the Cloud Gate – a reflective metal structure shaped like a giant bean. They strolled through the Chicago Riverwalk and watched the early Fourth of July fireworks July 2 at the Navy Pier.