By Woodrow Polston
The 2022 District Future Business Leaders of America competition was held at Hannibal-Lagrange University in Hannibal, Mo., last week. Van-Far students competed and placed in multiple categories during the event. Cameron Jones, a senior at Van-Far High School, won first place medals in three of the contests, which was the maximum number allowed to compete in. He won first place in Business Calculations, first place in Business Communications, and first place in Personal Finance. He said he was excited about the outcome of the competition.
“This has been a great experience,” said Jones. “All four years of high school here at Van-Far have really opened my eyes to the world of business. Even if I decide not to pursue a career in the business field, the skills that I have learned in financial math, business calculations, and proper writing, as far as business is concerned, are certainly going to help me in the future. I think that this is a great extracurricular activity for students that want to get involved in a career,” he added.
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda Inc., is the largest business Career and Technical Student Organization in the world. Each year, the FBLA helps over 230,000 members prepare for careers in business. The concept for FBLA was developed in 1937 and the first high school chapter was chartered in Tennessee in 1942. In 1958, the first collegiate chapter was chartered in Iowa. The FBLA Middle Level Division was started in 1994 for students in grades 5-9. The Alumni & Professional Network, to be established in 2021, is rooted in the former Professional Division, originally the Alumni Division which began in 1979.
“The competitions that Cameron competed in were objective test competitions,” said business and technology teacher Becky McCurdy. “He had previously taken the multiple-choice online tests. All performance events are performed on site the day of the competition, and the results of the objective tests are announced. Every one of our students that participated this year placed in the top 10 of their events. Cameron has qualified for state every year of high school. If I remember correctly, he has won first place at districts in at least one event every year of high school,” she added.
“These tests were 100 question multiple choice tests,” said Jones. “Business Communications entails proper letter writing, ethics for writing, and basic word processing skills including grammar and proper spelling. Business Calculations involves inventory management, insurance and taxes, and basic financial math. Personal Finance is more about understanding financial vocabulary, loan terms, and how to shop around for the best deals,” he added.
According to their website, The FBLA mission is to inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences. The FBLA participation at the Van-Far R-I School District has provided an opportunity to showcase the quality of students, as well as education there, according to staff.
“The district is so happy for Cameron on this accomplishment, as it is a testament to his hard work and dedication as well as the hard work of his sponsor,” said Superintendent John Fortney. “This is another great example of the quality of student that we have at Van-Far and are always excited to showcase the many talents of our students,” he added.
“I am very proud of how all of the students did this year,” said McCurdy. “They have represented our school and our chapter extremely well. I am looking forward to seeing what they will be doing in the future. I am also looking forward to how well Cameron will do at state later this year,” she added.