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April 2014

19

FBLA making a comeback at Mukwonago High School

Mukwonago High School hasn't had a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter since 1984. After talking to students in MHS business classes and gaining 25 members, a resurging Mukwonago FBLA held its first meeting last week.

FBLA works at developing competent, aggressive business leadership while strengthening the confidence of students in themselves and their work, as well as encouraging efficient money management and assisting students in setting occupational goals, while bringing business and education together in a positive working relationship.

"I think that having an FBLA chapter at Mukwonago High School is important because it gives students a real connection to the world of business," said MHS FBLA adviser Kathy Harenz. "Anytime that we as teachers can make our content come alive, the students will benefit."

After attending a recent FBLA leadership conference in Madison, club President Kayla Hagen is excited about FBLA and hopes it will give her skills and tools to help her stand out when entering the business world. Vice President Olivia Stroika, who also attended the conference, joined FBLA to learn more about the business world and hopes the experience will help improve her communication skills.

Until then, the duo have embraced an FBLA comeback at the high school. Hagen told other FBLA members they and the group could do anything if they were willing to work hard. She's already started fundraising for the group, offering other members a reward in a "friendly competition," trying to outsell her early efforts.

FBLA offers members competitive events in a number of different areas from accounting to virtual business management to public speaking. Individual and team events focus on skills useful in leadership and career development, according to www.fbla-pbl.org.

Junior Josie Zinkgraf hopes FBLA will help her get a successful business job like her dad.

"I thought it would be good for my college resume, and I love doing accounting and business work," said senior Andrew Gardner.

FBLA's largest community service project, March of Dimes, touches close to home for Hagen. Her cousin was born two months early and spent time in the intensive care unit.

According to the national FBLA website, service learning helps members learn about real-world issues and needs, provides practical experience in planning and organizing and develops leadership skills while teaching the satisfaction of a job well-done.

Hagen and Stroika have begun honing those leadership skills.

Hagen shared some of the pointers they gained at the conference:

Listen to the ideas of the people involved.

FBLA becomes another family and members help each other and work together.

Effective people are always on time.

Always show your best side.

There are no stupid questions.

Provide constructive criticism with no negativity.

Success requires vision guided by objectives aimed at specific, attainable, realistic goals within a set time frame, following a strategy for achieving the goals and tactics on how to accomplish the plan.

"One thing that stuck with me personally from the conference was that we are all family all going for a common goal, and we need to work together," Hagan added. "I'm the president to help everyone to be their best and to help them get where they want to go, not only in FBLA but in life. FBLA gives students the skills they need to be successful."

To learn more about Mukwonago FBLA visit mukwonagofbla.pbworks.com. To learn more about the FBLA program, visit www.fbla-pbl.org.

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