TALA AREIQAT

Northern Valley Old Tappan High School

Running for Community Service VP

Officer Candidate Test Score : 34/50

What do you believe is the biggest area of improvement NJ FBLA-PBL currently faces? How would you work to address this area?

The biggest area of improvement that NJ FBLA-PBL currently faces is the involvement of the smaller state chapters in community service events. Often smaller chapters do not have the resources to hold events because they do not have enough members to fundraise or the space to execute it, but I want to work to resolve this issue. First, I will work to address which chapters are struggling in this area by having open forums for them to express their concerns to see which specific chapters are struggling. Next, I will work with these chapters one-on-one, online, under our current social distancing circumstances, or in person at future events (knock on wood!) to give them the tools they need to know on how to get involved with their local businesses to create community service events and fundraisers. By having local businesses support chapters, it will help them access resources they maybe did not have before. For example, my local chapter has worked with a local restaurant called Mooyah to help raise some money for our chapter. This is perfect for chapters who do not have many resources available to help them create events. As you will read on, more about this initiative will come. But now, I want to make opportunities that NJ FBLA-PBL has to offer more accessible to every chapter (small and large chapters alike!) through newsletters and social media initiatives to make sure your chapters are kept up to date on all that's happening in New Jersey FBLA! 

What will you do to increase the number of active chapters?

The number of active chapters definitely need to increase in NJ FBLA-PBL and I plan to do this through incentivized challenges. More about this initiative are mentioned later on, when I talk about how I am encouraging chapters to participate in community service, but the quick gist of it is that the chapters which complete the most amount of community service challenges win a prize. Furthermore, I would like to continue the Adopt-a-Chapter project, which assists new chapters or deactivated chapters in becoming involved with NJ FBLA-PBL. Through this project, our current NJ FBLA-PBL chapters help these new/deactivated chapters by completing a series of goals (such as presenting to the adopted chapter about FBLA, reviewing Parliamentary procedure with them and teaching them the basics of NJ FBLA-PBL). Of course, many may be thinking, "well, how do we encourage current chapters to adopt chapters?" Well, I hope to address this by offering an incentive to the chapters of NJ FBLA-PBL that adopt chapters by recognizing them at the annual State Leadership Conference at Atlantic City in March. Not only will this create new active chapters, but it will also get our current chapters more involved in FBLA! Adding on to this initiative, I want to emphasize the importance of the creation of new, active Middle Level Chapters, by having high school FBLA chapters adopt and create chapters at their local middle schools. It is important that we not only increase the number of active high school chapters, but middle as well.

What leadership roles do you have inside and outside of FBLA-PBL and how have they shaped you?

Outside of FBLA-PBL, I have been blessed enough to take on some leadership roles in my community that have shaped me into the person I am today. I worked with Islamic Relief through my mosque in Passaic County, NJ to sponsor orphans in Africa, by raising money to send them gifts, food, and more. This has opened me up to the problems in our world, and as members of society, we must work actively toward improving the lives of the less fortunate. Additionally, I have also been in the process of starting Build On at my school, an organization which builds schools in under developed nations for children who do not have access to schools. As a member of society and NJ FBLA-PBL, as the FBLA-PBL creed states, "I believe education is the right of every person." Being a part of Build On has made me realize that there are so many more children in this world that do not have access to adequate education than I had originally thought. Additionally, apart from serving our community, I have a jewelry e-business called Tajj Style. The hardships I have went through when starting this business have taught me resilience, a trait we should all adopt. I am also a passionate journalist, making sure people are informed is my priority, so I am a journalist for The Lance, NVOT's school news. To conclude, I am very grateful for all of these leadership roles that have shaped me as a person.

How will you ensure chapters are encouraging and completing community service?

To ensure that chapters are being encouraged to complete community service, the engagement of our chapters must increase, of course! So, I want to work in conjunction with the future VP of Membership to create a community service challenge initiative. These initiatives include being involved in giving back to the community of the towns of our NJ FBLA-PBL chapters and give back to FBLA's incredible partners. As an example, it would include a chapter having three members complete three hours of community service each, then the next challenge would be to hold a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, and the chapter with the most amount of challenges completed could win a prize such as sending one of their chapter members to the State Leadership Conference for free. I also want to continue the community service challenge initiative launched by the 2018-2019 Community Service Vice President, Amy Yang, which includes tiers for community service. This means that the community service goals are based on how many members each chapter has, so it can be easier for them to participate in community service, regardless of size. Lastly, I want to begin a social media initiative to promote community service opportunities to the local chapters through Instagram. By doing this, all of our chapters will have the chance to take part of bettering our community as a whole! 

What current state initiatives would you like to continue and/or what new state initiatives would you like to begin?

Current state initiatives that I would like to continue are Tip Thursday because it keeps the chapters engaged and gives them useful tips and tricks. However, I would like to help further add to this initiative by making a series on tips and tricks from people of our very own NJ FBLA-PBL chapters! They can talk about how they were able to increase local chapter engagement, hold events, and more. Additionally, I would like to begin an initiative I call "Mutual Project Partnership". In this project, the officers will work with our NJ FBLA-PBL chapters one-on-one, as mentioned before, to help build business relationships between local businesses and chapters. Not only will the local chapters learn how to contact business and simulate real life connections and potentially make long-term connections with their local businesses, but they will also be able to hold community service events or fundraisers. With more partners, it is easier to create events and this is the perfect opportunity to give back to the community as well. Next, as I previously mentioned about my community service incentive initiative, as the VP of community service I want to make sure that chapters are encouraged to be a part of giving back to the community by offering prizes as an incentive to chapters who complete the most community service challenges. Overall, I hope to improve and create new state initiatives so NJ FBLA-PBL can soar to new heights!

 GET IN TOUCH

 

NJ FBLA-PBL State Office

Kean University

Hutchinson Hall, J-202-C

1000 Morris Avenue

Union, NJ 07083

 

908-737-3980 - Voice

908-737-3945 - Fax

info@njfbla.org

 

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