Sayreville War Memorial High School
Running for Historian
Officer Candidate Test Score : 40/50
What do you believe is the biggest area of improvement NJ FBLA-PBL currently faces? How would you work to address this area?
First, I’d like to acknowledge how current Historian Julia Smith has done an excellent job of revamping the Instagram page for NJ FBLA in the past year. However, I believe that the biggest problem with NJ-FBLA is still the lack of accessible information. There is no place for chapters to see step-by-step guides for individual competitive event topics. For starters, most of our competitive event guidelines tend to be pretty vague, which can be an added challenge, especially to our inexperienced members and advisors. Newer chapters, as well as established ones, need a place to access this sort of information quickly and concisely. These are issues that simply cannot be addressed through one social media platform. We need to go back to the basics with educating our chapter, and this is what I plan to bring with FBLA Crash Course Videos. From what to wear, how to adopt a chapter, national place winner Q & As, competitive events tips from Public Speaking Tips to Resume Formatting, these professionally-produced videos will cover the whole 9-yards. They will be posted on Youtube, as well as on the NJ FBLA website. They shall allow members to become more involved through positive guidance, and information on the multitude of opportunities around them.
What will you do to increase the number of active chapters?
Increasing active chapters has to do with inviting non-members to events in their region. Schools will only open up a chapter if there is an interest in the organization. People are also intimidated when opening chapters, as it is such a large organization and an equally large commitment. Non-members need a place to go to understand the purpose of the club, to see how much fun our conferences are, to talk to real people, and to get the step-by-step instructions they need to get involved. Going back to the FBLA crash course videos, these give members a sense of direction. People tend to be intimidated about things they don’t know much about. They are always going to be afraid of the unknown. These videos will give members a step-by-step guide when starting, to break down that intimidation factor. Regional events also should be open to all, and current members should be given incentives to invite non-members, like more raffles, giveaways, and better speakers. I want to have more competitions within regions, where members will be rewarded with the number of non-members they bring with them to FBLA events near them. As State Historian my job is to not only connect old members but introduce new ones to the FBLA family.
What leadership roles do you have inside and outside of FBLA-PBL and how have they shaped you?
I am currently serving as my school’s FBLA Chapter co-president, specifically dealing with the Competitive Events Department. After being a 2-time national place winner, I have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to individual competitive events and helping junior members. I placed nationally for my Introduction to Business Presentation, as well as my Public Service Announcement. Both events involve a great deal of public speaking, as well as media design. I am also on the board of a club called Teen Interest Generates Success, from which I was able to attend a Leadership Training Camp over the summer to encourage a drug-free lifestyle back in my community and my school. This club, along with FBLA has over 150 members, for whom I organize events and regularly speak in front of. I regularly visit my local elementary school as a mentor as part of the Heroes and Cool Kids Program. I have also interned as a Social Media Manager for a startup company partnered with NYU, where I was able to learn all about creating a real Social Media Campaign for an app used by college students around the campus to find free food. This shall give me the tools for running a social media account effectively. Finally, I am the Junior Co-Editor for my school’s yearbook. As an editor, I have become immensely involved with all clubs in my school, and have learned all about design while editing our pages.
How will you ensure chapters are encouraging and completing community service?
The reason why chapters are not getting involved with things such as community service is that they are not informed about the opportunities around them. I want to introduce regional social media pages dedicated to advertising these sorts of events. Chapter Presidents will each have their shared Google Calendars within regions to post events going on, as well as information on how to get involved. These will be shared through group chats between presidents of each region. With the FBLA Crash Course, I will educate our members on what the Community Service Awards are, and how exactly to submit them. As we are currently in the midst of a global health pandemic, there will be countless opportunities to get involved with our community in the upcoming year. I will place incentives on those who are able to dedicate their time to helping the people around them in their region. There will be social media contests across more platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to showcase what you are doing with your community. Outstanding members will be showcased on the NJ FBLA pages in order to inspire others to do the same. Through better communication, comes greater involvement.
What current state initiatives would you like to continue and/or what new state initiatives would you like to begin?
I would first like to begin by applauding the great efforts of our current state administration through their various media campaigns. I consider some of them to be massive hits. For one, the Spotlight Saturday Initiatives offer a good amount of guidance for less experienced members. However, I would like to revamp these videos by making them less of a scripted format to an active, more professional style. Perhaps, some of the Spotlight Saturdays can be snippets of chapter meetings from around the state. Moving onto my own initiatives, the previously described “FBLA Crash Course” videos accessible through Youtube are an excellent way of making FBLA a less intimidating place for newer members. Finally, I would like to address a major issue that has affected FBLA SLC on numerous occasions. In case of an emergency scenario, like a snow day, some schools were not able to attend SLC and therefore forfeited their right to compete, or even qualify for NLC. To not rob members of this chance, especially after their hard work, i would like to introduce “Snowed Out? Tune In.” It is a state initiative that allows chapters that are not able to attend SLC to compete for their events via a Zoom call, similar to the situation here. While there are some initiatives that are particularly riveting, NJ FBLA needs to do more to offer more information and opportunities to members.