By: Abby McArthur, Contributing Writer
This summer CHS senior Ben Ray traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to compete in Networking Concepts at FBLA Nationals. He took second place in the nation and received a $200 cash prize.
In Texas Ray attended breakout sessions, which are similar to business workshops. Also, when he qualified for nationals, he earned the chance to take a test in network concepts during this national FBLA event. In order to make it to nationals, Ben placed in the top five at districts to qualify for state and then placed third at state to qualify for nationals.
Ray said he became involved in FBLA because a friend told him about the benefits. He also had Mr. Reynolds, an FBLA adviser and CHS business teacher, who talked about the benefits of FBLA in his Intro to Digital Media class.
Reynolds encouraged Ray to study and helped him get resources for the competition. Ray also had to watch and study the PluralSight CompTIA Network+course for hours. Ray said the competitive FBLA events pushed him to learn more on his own than he would have without them. He also said that being in FBLA provides opportunities for scholarships and is attractive on college applications.
The FBLA officer team as a whole has to plan all the activities the chapter hosts and attends. Ray is the parliamentarian and his main duty is to make sure the meetings run according to Roberts Rules of Order.
Here is a list of Ray’s previous FBLA accomplishments: 7th place in Computer Problem Solving, 2018; 3rd place in Networking Concepts, 2019; Missouri FBLA State Leadership Conference (SLC), 1st place in Cyber Security, 2018; Missouri FBLA SLC, 2nd Place in Computer Problem Solving, 2018; Missouri FBLA SLC, 2nd Place in Introduction to Information Technology, 2017; Missouri FBLA SLC, 3rd Place in Networking Concepts, 2017; Missouri FBLA SLC.
Reynolds hopes to have a few students make the cut for nationals although it is not very easy. He said, “I’m hopeful we’ll have at least a couple [go to nationals], but it’s tough to qualify for nationals. Missouri is the second largest state chapter in FBLA and has the largest state leadership conference in the nation (for FBLA), so we have more competition than any other state. We (Missouri FBLA) also do very well at nationals every year so it’s not just lots of students competing to qualify for nationals, it’s lots of extremely competitive students trying to make it out of Missouri in their event.”
Earning this type of recognition is important for Ray, the Centralia FBLA chapter, the school and the community. Reynolds said that he could not be more proud.