Piscataway High School
Running for President
Officer Candidate Test Score : 37/50
What do you believe is the biggest area of improvement NJ FBLA-PBL currently faces? How would you work to address this area?
I believe the biggest issue in NJFBLA right now is the fact that the interaction between chapters is very minimal. The only times chapters really get to interact with each other is during the few FBLA events that we have and the two conferences. Aside from that, I don’t really see a lot of other interactions. To address this issue, I plan on introducing chapter meetups where two chapters could meet with each other whenever they both have the time. I believe this is very valuable because chapters could share ideas with each other and better their own chapters from those ideas. Also, it’s just fun to be able to meet new people and spend time with them because you can get a new friend from this program. One of the main things I look forward to after high school is maintaining all the friendships I’ve made through FBLA and having these chapter meetups can do just that. Members definitely don’t get enough interaction with members from other chapters and I believe changing that is key to increasing the participation within NJFBLA.
What will you do to increase the number of active chapters?
The process of increasing active chapters is essentially finding schools that seem like they will have a genuine interest in participating in FBLA. As a state officer this year, I've worked with a few other state officers to create different materials, such as an interest letter and PowerPoint, to start up new chapters. In fact, some people have used the materials we created and have come back to us with positive results. Not only do we have to worry about increasing active chapters in the high school division, but also in the middle-level. This is where it gets a bit more challenging because many middle schools do not have a business program and don't see the need for what is perceived as a "business club". However, the state officers made it their goal to create resources to help members start middle-level chapters in their local middle schools. In fact, I presented a workshop on how to start a middle-level chapter with two other state officers at the State Fall Leadership Conference. From there, multiple people have used these resources to start a middle-level chapter. From the success we've had in the past, I know that we can use these resources for next year to increase the number of active chapters. In addition, I know what to add on to these resources to make them even more effective because of the experience I have presenting them to school administrators and principals.
What leadership roles do you have inside and outside of FBLA-PBL and how have they shaped you?
I am currently the North-Central Region Vice President for NJFBLA and the co-vice president for my local chapter. My state position has given me so many opportunities to meet people and many new experiences that I can use to help further FBLA. I've learned a lot planning and hosting the north-central and central regional summit. From this event and the many other events I've been invited to, I really have learned what the members want to see in FBLA and how to make their membership better. I have also learned how to be an effective leader and how to communicate effectively to ensure that our projects are completed. Another thing I've learned from being a state officer is how to work with a team. I've become amazing friends with all of the state officers and sometimes, it can be hard to work effectively when the entire team is friends. However, being able to work around that is very important because as state officers, we are expected to represent NJFBLA and make sure that all of our members are getting the experience they deserve. If we can't work effectively as a team, then we can't help all the members. I am also the high school program director for a non-profit organization called Junior Achievement. They offer events, such as JA Titan and High School Heroes. I learned how to plan large events aspects of the events and that event planning is an important part of being a state leader.
How will you ensure chapters are encouraging and completing community service?
Community service is definitely an important part of FBLA but I think it's impossible to force a chapter to do community service. We can definitely encourage a chapter to participate but the chapter needs to decide for themselves if they want to participate in community service or not. I think the best way to get more chapters involved in community service is to create opportunities for the members that are fun and exciting but also help out the community. For example, the Teddies for Hope that the current state officer team created helps out a notable cause. At the same time, we tried to make it a little fun to donate teddy bears and see what kind of teddy bears the members wanted to donate. Also, I was invited to a few community service events chapters were holding and by showcasing those events on our social media platforms and websites, other chapters may be interested in doing the same thing. I think that once chapters get a taste of that feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment that comes from running community service events, they will definitely want to keep that going.
What current state initiatives would you like to continue and/or what new state initiatives would you like to begin?
One state initiative that I started and want to continue is the State Officer Mentorship Program. This is an initiative where chapters sign up to meet a state officer so that they can discuss problems they are facing and the state officer will do their best to assist them. I realized that state officers don't get to meet chapters in person more than 3 or 4 times a year so I wanted to change that. I always preferred talking to someone in person rather than through text or on the phone so I thought that chapters would like to meet officers in person and talk with them. I started testing this initiative in the North-Central region and it has worked well so far. If elected as your new state president, I want to bring this program to the entire state so that all chapters have the opportunity to take part in this. A new state initiative I would like to start is chapter meetups. I wanted to try and start it this year but I couldn't get it up and running yet. However, I do have all the plans and am confident that I can get this program started next year. Essentially, chapters can meet with each other outside of a formal FBLA event and either just hang out with each other or discuss ideas that could help each chapter grow. Just from talking to so many different chapters, I found new ways to make my chapter grow.