MS and HS Business Club Adviser
This past fall, Divine Savior Academy opened two new Future Business Leaders of America chapters, one for our high school students and one for our middle school students. With strong initial interest, 27 high school students and 26 middle school students joined their respective chapters. Throughout the school year, members participated in activities and fundraisers, learned new business and communication skills, interacted with guest speakers, honed social skills through games and networking events, and competed in an array of business competitions both at the district and state levels.
On March 16-18, 2018, DSA sent its first team of students to compete at the FBLA State Leadership Conference that was held in the Hilton Orlando Resort. Two high school students and eight middle school students scored high enough at the district level to earn the privilege of being able to compete with other students who had also won at their districts levels. With over 25 districts in one of the largest and most competitive FBLA state chapters, the Florida FBLA leadership conference hosted over 5,000 high school and middle school students for a weekend of competitions, workshops, campaigning, motivational speeches, and FUN!
The DSA middle school team consisted of eighth grader, Daniel Castro (Elevator Speech Competition); seventh graders, Isabella Antelo (Introduction to Business Communication), Maria Cicala (Public Speaking), Victoria Fernandez (Spreadsheet Skills), and Thomas Poulos (Business Calculations and Financial Literacy); and sixth grader, Sofia Zakhem (Introduction to Computer Science and Coding). The DSA high school chapter was represented by junior, Sophia Baldeon (Business Communications) and senior, Thales Santos (Public Speaking). All students and parent chaperones who attended were impressed with the level of organization and professionalism.
“The workshops were interesting,” said seventh grader, Thomas Poulos. “I liked how the speakers got everyone involved.”
“This was truly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” wrote Maria Cicala, DSA seventh grader. “Thank you to all my teammates for the laughs, cries, and everything in between. I am truly honored to be a part of this organization.”
The conference could not have had a better ending. During the awards ceremony Sunday evening, Divine Savior Academy senior, Thales Santos, took center stage as his name was announced as one of the top 5 finalists in Public Speaking. Amid cheers and tears, he joined the winners on stage, and took the fourth place trophy, qualifying him to represent the state of Florida and Divine Savior Academy at the National FBLA Leadership Conference that will be held this June in Baltimore, Maryland.
Congratulations to Thales and all of the DSA students who competed. Their hard work and dedication paid off. As a school, we could not have asked for better student representation. Their professionalism, positivity, and kindness were reflected in everything they did, and they were great examples of Christian love. We know great things are in store for all of them.