I am the Chairman of the Oregon FBLA Board of Trustees. I have seen many student's lives changed because of Oregon FBLA. That is why I volunteer my time to help to Oregon FBLA.
In rural areas of the state, it is hard for students to believe they can compete with students from the bigger metro schools. FBLA provides an opportunity for students to realize they are not at a disadvantage when competing against students from across the state and in national competitions, but also in college and in the job market to follow. I have seen students that have shown very little interest in school become very focused and excited about competitions from Business Presentation to Information Systems. This effectively increases the depth of learning and teaches the students skills that they will be able to use in later life, or may change the career path they choose to persue because of their experiences outside of the classroom.
Personally, one of my daughters chose her career path after attending the Institute for Leaders at the National FBLA Conference. This is exactly the type of experience we want our children to have. Something that opens their mind not only to a career path, but to the fact that they can compete with anyone from anywhere.
These organizations build partnerships with businesses that help make the educational experience more "real world." In our community, more than 100 business leaders have worked with the local chapter in everything from Career Fairs, judging events and assisting with projects. Additionally, businesses contribute thousands of dollars every year to assist the local program, as well as, to help students be able to afford to go to state and national conferences. These are exactly the types of partnerships the educational system need to develop if we are going to sucessfully educate students for the twenty-first century.
There are approximately 10,000 students involved in CTSOs in the State of Oregon. When you divide the dollars allocated, or the dollars proposed to be allocated in HB 2985, the cost per student is minimal when compared to the benefits derived from CTSOs. I strongly urge your suppport of HB 2985.
Anthony Bailey, Baker City, OR
Support of HB 2985 is so critical to the future of Oregon CTSOs and I encourage strong support for this bill. In 40 years as an educator, nothing had as much impact on my students and their success as their involvement in FBLA. It was always exciting and rewarding to watch the personal growth in many, many students . . . leadership skills, academic skills, social skills, etc. The recognition it brought to many students as well as to our school and community is priceless. There are hundreds of stories of personal impact throughout the many CTSOs in Oregon.
Sue Van Meter, Albany OR
As the former Oregon Future Business Leaders of America State President, I am proud to call myself a product of the opportunities that Future Business Leaders of America has afforded me in my five years as an active member. Throughout my FBLA membership, I have helped pioneer new operations in our local chapter, as well as developed professional and leadership skills. My state officer experience has shown that proper planning and innovation are driving factors to any successful organization. My FBLA experience has molded my future aspirations as I will be attending the University of Oregon and obtaining a Master’s in Business Administration before pursuing a career in international business consulting.
I am a firm believer that I am one of thousands of students whose ambitions and career paths have been influenced by Career and Technical Student Organizations. My CTSO journey started when I learned about American Free Enterprise by the "cool kids" in high school. A few, short years later, I was involved with every possible aspect of my local FBLA chapter I could find. A pinnacle point of my leadership choices was running for a chapter office in 8th Grade. I was one of the youngest students to ever do so. After dawning a floppy pair of dress shoes from my step dad, and completing a shaky voiced interview, I got the position of Event Coordinator.
I would not stop there, as the next two years I served as our chapter president. It was my goal to continue improving and innovating in Imbler FBLA, so we facilitated a Ping Pong Tournament for the March of Dimes. Imbler FBLA also started holding an annual Kids Night Out event for elementary students.
In contrast, there are still thousands of Oregon students who are chomping at the bit to discover their passions, but they don’t have the resources or opportunity to do so.
It’s the efforts from our volunteer advisers that have given students, like me, opportunities to excel. I know my local adviser spends many late nights and time away from her family to ensure our local chapter has the ability to compete at all levels of FBLA. She isn’t paid the big bucks to do so, but she is passionate about the benefits of FBLA, CTSOs, and CTE as a whole. Sadly, it’s become harder and harder for advisers to replicate the work that a handful of dedicated teachers have done. The benefits the CTSO Rejuvenation Act is an investment in the future of our state. I truly believe the future of business, agriculture, healthcare, and every occupation in between will reap the benefits of HB 2985.
Jaden Bales, 2012-13 Oregon FBLA State President
The number one experience that changed my professional trajectory and made me the business leader I am today was joining the Yamhill-Carlton High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). I joined FBLA as a freshman, was elected chapter vice president as a junior, and for my senior year of high school I served as the FBLA president for the entire state of Oregon. Since graduating from YCHS I have completed a double major at the University of California – Berkeley, received an MBA for Harvard Business School, worked for one of the top business strategy consulting firms in the world (Bain & Company), led economic development projects for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and am now the Chief Marketing Officer at the largest e-commerce site for baby products in Brazil (Baby.com.br). None of these achievements would have been possible if I had not received the leadership and technical training that FBLA provided.
As the Oregon FBLA state president I had the opportunity to lead a team of 12 officers. These officers were fellow high school students who were elected by their peers from across Oregon. With only one full time adult employee, we, the students, were responsible for organizing three different conferences throughout the year. We were also responsible for creating programs and initiatives to improve the educational experience for every Oregon FBLA member. To help us develop the leadership skills that we needed to lead tremendous tasks, we used some of the funding provided by the state legislature to contract professional student leadership coaches. The other officers and I then led workshops on the various skills and topics that we developed for all of the other Oregon FBLA members. The training that we received, and the workshops that we led, would not have been possible without funding from the Oregon legislature.
The skills I learned in FBLA were a major reason I received a job offer from Bain & Company, one of the premier business strategy consulting firms in the world, upon graduating from college. Through the rigorous training and projects that I engaged in at Bain, I learned how to complement the leadership skills I had first learned in FBLA with strong analytics and strategic thinking skills. However, the most fulfilling project that I completed while at Bain was a volunteer non-profit consulting project with an arts program for at-risk youth in Oakland, California. For this project I had to manage a team of five other consultants and plan out the research and analysis for which each team member would be responsible, all while making sure the project was on track with the non-profits board of directors. The leadership skills that I gained from FBLA made the project such a success that I received an offer to work for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg because of it.
Working for the NYC government was the first time that I had been given official responsibility for leading a team. At 24 years old this could have been a daunting task since, professionally, young adults don’t have the opportunity to lead a team (or receive leadership training) until their 30s (Harvard Business Review article on the subject: http://bit.ly/14OObOT). The many opportunities that I had to lead others (starting with FBLA) allowed me to continue to excel and develop as a leader and manager. This quality was also the main reason why I was accepted to Harvard Business School’s MBA program.
Currently, I am leading a team of 17 Brazilians as the Chief Marketing Officer at Baby.com.br. This role is a significant step up in difficulty and responsibility from anything I have ever done. However, I am confident that I can succeed because of the leadership and technical skills that I have continuously developed ever since I joined FBLA 11 years ago.
Adam Burgh, Yamhill, OR & Sao Paulo, Brazil
Future Business Leaders of America changed my life. While a freshman in high school, I was withdrawn, depressed, and I didn't want to come out of my shell. I was really sick, and my doctor suggested that I take a year off, fearing I wouldn't graduate.
My involvement in FBLA changed all of that. Because of my involvement with my local chapter, I started to care about school, my grades, and my future. I saw life past my senior year and my small town, and I started to dream about what I could accomplish in my future.
I went on to hold three chapter offices, two state offices, finish top ten at SBLC six times, place 4th in the nation in Sports Management, become Oregon FBLA's Who's Who, earn all four levels of the Business Achievement Awards, and two President's Volunteer Service Awards, donating over 4,000 hours of community service through my involvement with the organization.
I am now a junior at Oregon State University, double majoring in accounting and finance and minoring in political science, and I know without a doubt that I would not be here without FBLA. Looking back, joining FBLA was the single best decision I made in high school.
I believe in the power of CTSOs, because I am a success story.
Mallory Bailey, 2009-2010 Oregon FBLA State President
I am a member of our Imbler FBLA Chapter and I am also an officer. This last year I was our chapters community service representative which entitled me to conduct and organize our Little Steps Program we have here at Imbler. Also overlooking and helping with all other community service projects. This upcoming year I will serve as secretary/treasurer where I will be helping with the finances of our chapter and keeping records and notes of what goes on throughout our chapter. FBLA has taught me responsibility and given me an option to learn more about business and being a leader in the program. Also it has brought me more opportunities to meet and interact with new people and step out of my comfort zone.
Ally Fullerton, Summerville, OR