Alachua County Public Schools students win national business awards

The Gainsville Sun | July 9, 2024

Seven Alachua County Public Schools students earned national recognition at the recent Future Business Leaders of America, Inc. (FBLA) National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Orlando.

The annual event attracted a record 17,000-plus middle school, high school and college students, as well as teachers, volunteers and exhibitors from across the country.

Thirteen students from the Academy of Finance at Buchholz High School, three students from the Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High School and one Eastside High School student participated in the conference with adviser and Buchholz Academy of Finance Director Michele Brothers, adviser and Academy of Finance teacher Robin Hayse and Chief Mark Smith, director and FBLA adviser from the Fire and EMT Academy at PAM@Loften. Seven of the students won national awards, including six from Buchholz and one from PAM@Loften.

Michael Wei (BHS) took first place in Introduction to Financial Math, winning a trophy and cash award. Adrian Palamarev (BHS) earned the second-place trophy and cash award in Business Calculations. Fifth-place winners included Anish Patel (BHS) in Introduction to Financial Math and Brooklyn Hilman (PAM@Loften) for Healthcare Administration. Keith Zheng (BHS) earned seventh- place honors for Digital Animation and Alexander Hughes (BHS) placed seventh in Introduction to Business Procedures. West Gila (BHS) took eighth place in Agribusiness.

“The seventeen students that attended the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference made me very proud for their dedication and commitment to have made it to this level. Then for seven to earn top honors shows the District 6 FBLA group representing Alachua County Public Schools is a dream to work with,” said Brothers, who is also the FBLA District 6 adviser.

The awards were part of a comprehensive national competitive events program sponsored by FBLA-PBL that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. The Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference is the culmination of students’ hard work over the previous academic year and an opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge gained in the classroom.

In addition to competitions, students had an opportunity to participate in more than 200 workshops, visited an information-packed exhibit hall, and heard from motivational speakers on a broad range of business topics. They also had a chance to meet with representatives from more than 100 colleges, universities and businesses.

Future Business Leaders of America Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with more than 200,000 middle school, high school, and college members worldwide. Started in 1942, FBLA inspires and prepares students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.

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