Livingston High School
Running for President
Officer Candidate Test Score : 42/50
What do you believe is the biggest area of improvement NJ FBLA-PBL currently faces? How would you work to address this area?
One area of difficulty that is ubiquitous across NJ FBLA-PBL is the lack of member retention towards the end of the year. While the conflict perpetuates chapter success throughout the nation, I think it’s particularly prevalent here in the Garden State due to the absence of a definitive and coherent response. Let’s face it: we, all too often, see our meeting attendance and event participation dwindle down into the single digits—primarily composed of board members—as May and June approach. For my chapter in particular, seeing our 160 member club decline is a conflict that I’ve sought to combat head-on. If elected as the next NJ FBLA-PBL President, I would scale the scope of my response: Instituting a state-wide accountability system that ensures fractional retention over the progression of the FBLA year. Simply put: a fractional retention system means that a chapter retains attendance of at least ¼ of their initial number of members at an end of year meeting, for example. To assure that the bar is met, I would make member retention a categorical goal that each chapter must surpass to earn recognition at our state meeting at NLC, and to gain a ‘step-up’ on the subsequent year’s agenda. Ultimately, the requirement would enable all the members of our state community to be better informed and involved Future Business Leaders of America!
What will you do to increase the number of active chapters?
Increasing the number of active chapters is a fundamental goal that will make its way to the top of my agenda, if elected as the next NJ FBLA-PBL President. Over the past years, my vast involvement in FBLA has enabled me to develop a sequential approach that can effectively bring this vision to fruition. At its core, my outlook employs an incentive-based system where we onboard a given number of target chapters (either completely new, or formerly inactive) by guaranteeing 1-on-1 mentorship, on-site visits, and a smooth transition to our wonderful organization. Through establishing national chapters for my nonprofit organization, I’ve learned the importance of outreach and infrastructural support each step of the way. In fact, the main reason as to why we’ve been able to successfully attract and retain a chapter system is due to our 1-on-1 videos and content that we produce. I hope to adopt this same strategy in NJ FBLA to develop a new era of success—where at least 2 new chapters are either reactivated or created within our state on a monthly basis. My hands-on approach to guide the development of FBLA branches ensures that our high schools can trust us and join the path to a world of opportunity. If elected, I will work relentlessly to establish the first attractions under this program to set an exemplary empirical model for the true power of NJ FBLA. From there, a systematic method of delegation and distribution will curate an unmatched desire to join NJ FBLA!
What leadership roles do you have inside and outside of FBLA-PBL and how have they shaped you?
Both in and out of FBLA-PBL, I’ve become a passionate high schooler hawking social change through the means of my work. This year, I’ve served as the Financial Literacy Director for the FBLA National Treasurer’s Council, and Chapter Co-President of Livingston High FBLA. While I’m humbled to hold both positions, I’ve mobilized them to further the opportunities available to high school students in the realm of business. For example, I helped to launch the National Personal Finance Contest—a monthly initiative that pushes out a financial literacy contest to FBLA members, and subsequently recognizes winners via social media. The widespread response to the contest was certainly satisfying, but, I was prouder knowing that I had carefully crafted and distributed a valuable resource to our 200,000+ members. More importantly, my motivation to spur social change anytime and anywhere has led me to pursue a variety of projects: I serve as the founder of a business education nonprofit organization, I lead growth at a global social justice news network with more than 5 million organic visitors monthly, and I guide advocacy at a Hispanic Community Organization that has earned recognition from Google, the Chest Foundation, and the New York Department of Health. These wide-ranging initiatives have transformed me into a social change maker—an individual who seeks to revolutionize the status quo, adopt grassroots movements, and dedicate myself to a cause. If elected as your next State President, I will do whatever it takes to acknowledge and implement my passion for change.
How will you ensure chapters are encouraging and completing community service?
Let’s get straight to it; here’s how I see the world: each individual has two distinct hands—one for helping themselves and the other for helping others. As members of FBLA, we are LEADERS—and, with that, it’s important to understand that no one has ever effectively led without serving. Community service is a critical activity to developing tangible life skills, while making meaningful contributions to our surroundings. I’ve adopted a variety of communal initiatives in my own life—whether it be when I teach at my nonprofit or work with Hispanic wage workers—and strive to employ the outlook for NJ FBLA. To ensure that all chapters are encouraging and completing community service, I will create, administer and distribute a monthly form direct to chapters asking: (1) What community service event have you held in the past month (2) If you haven’t held an event, what progress have you made in terms of planning for an event/conducting one. Failure to adequately meet the provisions of the 2 aforementioned questions will place any chapter’s other recognition's in jeopardy. The impact of such a plan is two-fold: beyond providing routine checks on community service initiatives, it will instill within our members insight regarding the true importance of giving back, especially when it’s equated to something else tangible, like a Gold Seal Award.
What current state initiatives would you like to continue and/or what new state initiatives would you like to begin?
NJ FBLA-PBL has already instituted many initiatives that I would love to continue, if elected to serve as your next State President. For starters, I would maintain and expand the current Member of the Month program through offering our chapters the opportunity to spotlight up to 2 members each month. It’s critical to recognize that members are the heartstrings of our organization—without them, we would simply be nothing. So let’s honor them! Additionally, I would advance the Spotlight Newsblast, particularly as a resource for our chapter officers. Too often, I feel that there is a lack of direct communication between the NJ FBLA-PBL state board and local chapter officers. However, I would bring a quick resolution to this conflict by leveraging the Spotlight as a secondary mechanism to showcase the progress and on-going projects of the State Board. With that established, I also hope to bring many new state initiatives to office, if elected. First and foremost, under my Develop with Desai platform, I aspire to create a mentorship program between FBLA and PBL members, alongside an NJ FBLA Urban Initiative that fosters inclusivity for all socio-economic levels in our state community. Certainly, FBLA conferences can pose a financial burden on under served communities; however, through corporate funding and partnerships, we can mitigate this conflict to give all high school students in our state an opportunity and the coaching to become Future Business Leaders.