Future Business Leaders of America

My Journey to Nationals

Maya Shternshus
By Maya Shternshus
July 20, 2023

One of the things that I look forward to the most in high school is the event that FBLA puts on where students get to dive deep into their business areas of interest by getting a prompt, project or a test. What is FBLA, you might ask? FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) helps students prepare for careers in business through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs.

Since my area of interest is graphic design, our prompt was to create a nonprofit organization for a children’s after-school program. I partnered with a good friend of mine who is a super talented writer. I knew she would be really helpful when it came to putting the presentation together. We were so excited to brainstorm on this topic and eventually, we came up with the idea Flour Power. Our idea was to create cooking and baking classes for kids to fight against hunger in our area. We sent our project to districts and placed first with a perfect score, which qualified us for the state finals.

We got to go to the state leadership conference and presented our nonprofit to the judges. This was our first time presenting in person and we were extremely nervous. We walked into the room with three judges waiting to see our design. Walking in was scary, but we did an awesome job. We placed 5th in the state which qualified us for nationals in Atlanta.

Unfortunately, my partner could not make nationals since it was during summer break, so I was given a new partner. I had to learn to adjust to someone new and discover her strengths and how she could help this project. Her biggest strength was her public speaking skills. She knew how to grab the audience’s attention. After getting feedback from states, we worked on updating the brand. We created a website, designed our baking set and printed some products to have in person when presenting. In June, we flew to nationals and stepped into a huge conference of over 14,000 students and advisors from around the world. The day before our competition, we got to see a Braves baseball game and explore the city of Atlanta. The next day, we presented to the judges, but did not make finals. Though we didn’t place, we had so much fun and the most important part is that we did our very best. There were so many other activities while we were there like the Georgia aquarium and an escape room. All of this created many great memories and I learned a lot from this organization. 

Here are some of my biggest takeaways from FBLA:

  • FBLA is a great way to get involved with your community as a business or a student
  • Working as a team can be super rewarding
  • Try new things
  • Adapting to change isn’t easy but it is crucial

If you’re looking for a team to help you discover the right thing to build and help you build it, get in touch.