Last weekend, twenty Georgetown High School students were able to travel to Chicago with the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) club. FBLA is a new co-curricular club that is offered at the high school, which prepares students for the business world. FBLA builds a foundation of critical thinking, ethical decision making, and creative problem solving that can be applicable to all walks of life. The new business club has a variety of competitive events from which the members can choose, such as a mock job interview, an on-the-spot public speaking assignment, or a project that requires the participant to analyze banking and financial systems. The club provides students with skills that can be utilized within the business world or any profession that they choose to go in. The trip to Chicago brought together thousands of students with a similar passion for business. In Chicago, the students went to a multitude of workshops where they learned about FBLA and their mission to inspire students to become leaders within their community.

The Chicago trip provided a multitude of conferences for the members to attend. At these meetings, the students learned the basics of presentation making, leadership skills, the guidelines of competitive events, and how to incorporate community service into their chapter work, among others. The variety of sessions that were offered were taught by FBLA board members as well as FBLA State Officers, which allowed for in depth and relevant learning. Through the courses that the students took, they were able to gain important skills in networking, as in most workshops students were tasked with working with people from around the nation. The workshops presented the students with scenarios and taught them how to problem solve in the most effective manner. For example, one workshop was about initiating a community service project and how to effectively communicate the project. The conferences held in Chicago introduced students to the opportunities that FBLA can provide within competition and the students’ lives.

The students were able to learn in the Windy City and explore it throughout the trip. Many students were able to try deep dish pizza for the first time as well as visit The Bean, a popular tourist attraction. One of the highlights of the weekend was visiting the Federal Reserve, where students learned about the money distribution process and the importance of the reserve in regulating the economy. On the tour of the Reserve, students got to see what a million dollars looks like in ones, tens, and twenties, as well as get their own souvenir bags of “Fed Shred,” which is shredded US currency. Another highlight of the tourist attractions was visiting the famous Navy Pier. Students were able to poke around for Chicago merchandise and even ride a ferris wheel that overlooked the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The club’s advisor, Mrs. Ryer, was able to organize a trip that balanced students learning about FBLA as well as the Windy City itself.

The new business club offered at Georgetown Middle High school provides its members with endless opportunities to take advantage of. The club’s emphasis on teaching students how to lead by example, giving back to the community, and inspiring others builds a foundation for the members no matter their journey in life. The Chicago trip got students engaged and excited to be a member of this national FBLA organization. The Chicago trip was like no other, as students created unforgettable memories with their peers.