Blairsville FBLA

Blairsville Middle-High School sent 15 students to the state competition of Future Business Leaders of America in Hershey. Participants were, front row, from left, Mary Tran, Joy Swasy, Jillian Barger, Grant Distefano, Hanna Alamo, Kourtney Horchar, Sophia Herdman and Rachel Jackson; and back row, Tyler Moran, Joshua Hooper, Timothy Schroth, Devin Burkhart, Ryan Wilkins, Kyle McConnell and Brandon Rebo. (Brittany Ciganko/Blairsville High School)

Distefano placed seventh in the state for his competition, which was client services. In his contest, which took place live in front of judges, he was dealing with an angry client. Distefano had to repeat the policy and respond in the best possible manner in order to resolve the client complaint.

Other attendees completed topics ranging from business communication and law, to journalism to health care administration. The competition format varied from tests to live demonstrations. Students also spent their time going to workshops and meeting with college representatives.

The students involved must go through the regional FBLA competition before going to states. The students who went to the regional competition have either taken a test or competed live in their event.

Sophomore Rachel Jackson attended for the first time this year and said she survived on iced lattes for the week.

Jackson’s event was journalism, and she took a 100-question test in 90 minutes. Although she did not make the top 10, she said she enjoyed herself and hopes to go again next year.

Blairsville FBLA coach and business teacher Brittany Ciganko hopes to send more students to the regional and state contests next year. This year’s three-day event took place at the Hershey Lodge.

Second-year attendee Jillian Barger, who competed in business communication, said, “It’s a really good experience for students who are interested in business to get this kind of opportunity, and it only took me a few days to catch up on my homework.”