In every organization - be it for education, public service or otherwise - one of the constant tasks of members is to inform, and educate the public about that organization's structure, goals, and purposes. Often, this process of sharing and spreading the word focuses on gaining support and recognition from the public and public leaders to ensure the long-term success of the organization itself. This ever-present system of sharing and building support is known as advocacy, and can often be one of the most significant tasks we as FBLA members can take on.
It's an experience we are all bound to have at some point as FBLA members; having a stranger notice you wearing an FBLA shirt, bag, or jacket and being asked, "What does 'Fe-blah' stand for?" If you have had this experience, you probably smiled and gave that person a short speech about FBLA and what it does for students involved in it. The conversation may have lasted no more than a minute, but that person probably walked away knowing about FBLA because you took the time to tell them!
Moments like this are perfect examples of how students can spread recognition of our association to public. In today's fast paced society, the benefits and value of organizations like ours can often be overlooked by those with the power to bring funding, support, and recognition to our own goals and purposes. Therefore, it has become even more important to show the world what we do, and why it matters.
Many members may wonder, "What can I possibly do to help? I don't know anything about advocacy!" The great part about advocacy is that it is something that any member can do, no matter how involved they might be! Here are some examples of how you can advocate for FBLA:
- Have a conversation with your principal, office staff, or school district management concerning what FBLA is all about, and how it has helped you grow as a student.
- Invite your friends and teachers to meetings or chapter events - help them get a sense of what FBLA does on a visible, graspable level.
- Inform local news outlets about the goings on of your local chapter: fundraisers, service projects, and competition results, etc.
- Have a meeting or phone call with a local government official - be it a city, state, or even national representative - and tell them about your experience as a member. Explain how support and funding for student leadership organizations helps build a more educated and better-equipped generation of leaders and innovators.
However you choose to advocate for the FBLA, keep this thought in mind: leadership is everyone's business. Family, Friends, Educators, Community Members, Public Leaders; everyone! By advocating, and involving as many people as possible with FBLA and its impact on the world, we can build a rich future for our organization, full of appreciation and support. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and spread the word!
Posted on Mon, July 30, 2012