FBLA’s FUEL provides members with a socially-distanced leadership experience

A moment of inspiration. In the above photo, students watch the keynote speaker of FUEL, Bryant Collier.  Officers advised students to sit several feet apart in class, keeping a socially distanced environment. Bryant Collier was a former FBLA member, who won several awards and gained recognition for his public speaking skills. Throughout his speech, that was casted on screens all over high schools in Georgia, he encouraged students to find their passion through organizations like FBLA, and build a career off of doing what they love.

Ayush Gundawar

A moment of inspiration. In the above photo, students watch the keynote speaker of FUEL, Bryant Collier. Officers advised students to sit several feet apart in class, keeping a socially distanced environment. Bryant Collier was a former FBLA member, who won several awards and gained recognition for his public speaking skills. Throughout his speech, that was casted on screens all over high schools in Georgia, he encouraged students to find their passion through organizations like FBLA, and build a career off of doing what they love.

Shreya Mishra, Online Editor

Every year Georgia Future Business Leaders of America(FBLA) holds a Fall Leadership Conference (FLC) in Athens, Georgia. However, to keep members safe from COVID-19, Georgia FBLA transformed FLC into the Fall Ultimate Experience into Leadership (FUEL). FUEL gave new and returning FBLA students a chance to develop their leadership experiences, business expertise, and FBLA knowledge. For members of the South Forsyth High School FBLA chapter, officers and advisers held FUEL at the school on November 19th, 2020.

The President of South Forsyth High School’s FBLA Chapter, senior Mitali Bidkar, commented, “FUEL allows students to participate while safely social distancing and wearing masks. It’s an opportunity for members to network with each other and with chapter officers to learn about how they can pursue leadership roles in FBLA.”

While reminiscing on the differences between FUEL 2020 and FLC 2019, junior Anish Kanchanapally said, “FUEL was a great experience and a great compensation for FLC. I didn’t feel like I missed out on any opportunities as I had lots of workshops, tests, and practice.”

Students participated in meetings with professional speakers on a variety of topics relating to leadership and business. Different classrooms held several webinar-style conference sessions throughout the day, and students had the option to attend sessions that they were interested in. Kanchanapally, as well as several other students, attended sessions that they had little prior knowledge about. As a result, FBLA members gained various new skills and experiences. 

“I learned about the most important employability skills in one of my first workshops,” said junior Nandha Thiru. “It was an enriching experience and the speaker was a very well versed person who shared tons of information.”

[Practice tests] helped me learn important business communication skills, and how to effectively work as a team. This will significantly help me in the future and with my competitive events.”

— Junior Nandha T.

To make FUEL interesting for the members, Georgia FBLA conducted games and activities that engaged students while instructing them to identify goals, within school and FBLA, that they wanted to achieve this year. Students filled mini beach balls with air, wrote a specific goal on them, and passed them around the room. By the end of the activity, students had shared their aspirations for this year and covered the beach ball with their goals.

Members also took proctored practice tests to train their skills on specific FBLA regional testing events. Additionally, members had an hour to complete their previously chosen test. For example, Thiru., who took a practice test at FUEL, reported an increased awareness about the rigor and requirements of his regional testing event.

Overall, despite the pandemic restrictions, Georgia FBLA managed to provide members with a productive and exciting Fall Leadership experience through FUEL. Virtual members finally had the chance to spend time with their peers and advisers in a safe environment and enrich their leadership skills alongside face-to-face members.  Students can still pay on MyPaymentsPlus to become a member and gain access to competitive events and community service projects.