Weber State University hosted the Northern Region Competition for the Future Business Leaders of America on Jan. 23. More than 360 high school students competed in Elizabeth Hall.
The competition is an annual event organized by WSU’s Phi Beta Lambda, the collegiate division of FBLA. Students who participate in the program practice skills required to become successful business leaders.
Schools like WSU organize FBLA competitions so high school students can practice for the state final competition. At WSU’s event, students participated in more than 50 FBLA competitive events.
Kasey Dawson, a student at North Summit High School, competed in the public speaking event. He said the public speaking event is about preparing a good speech in a small amount of time.
“For my event I’m given a topic that I have five minutes to turn into a speech,” Dawson said. “It’s nerve-racking but a lot of fun.”
Dawson said the reason he is a member of FBLA is to meet students at North Summit High School who share his interests.
“It’s fun to be able to get to know new people,” Dawson said. “I probably wouldn’t have half of my friends if I wasn’t a member of FBLA.”
High school students also compete in FBLA competitions to help them prepare for their future careers. FBLA brings business and education together so students can plan for their futures.
Jessica Spohn, a student at Layton High School, said she is preparing to become a lawyer.
“I compete in the testing event, which requires me to take a lot of tests,” Spohn said. “Although I’m usually not a fan of taking tests, these tests interest me, because they require me to study crime and law, which I need to know if I want to become a lawyer someday.”
Although the Northern Region Competition is a chance for high school students to experience a college campus, it is a lot of work for the university to organize. The competition requires more than 100 judges, and several state exams must be submitted onto WSU’s Chi Tester.
Laura Anderson, adviser of Phi Beta Lambda at WSU, said the competition takes months to prepare for, but that it is worth it.
“Weber State University has been hosting the Northern Region Competition for FBLA students for over 30 years,” Anderson said. “It’s a privilege to help these high school students prepare for their futures.”
Anderson also said the Northern Region Competition provides money for WSU’s Phi Beta Lambda organization.
“This competition will help raise money so that our PBL team can compete in its competitions, including nationals,” she said.
Phi Beta Lambda nationals will take place in Nashville, Tenn., this year.