Submitted by Angie Shoe
A record-breaking 24 Riverside Business Professionals of America (BPA) students will be traveling out west to attend the National BPA contest in Anaheim, California at the end of April.
For more than a decade, BPA students at Riverside have earned invitations to compete at the National Leadership Conferences (NLC) around the country. This year, after dominating the regional competition, 43 Riverside students attended the BPA State Leadership Conference (SLC) and continued their tradition of success.
While at the two-day state conference, students participated in leadership academies, competed in their competitive events, and met students from around the state. More than 5,000 students, advisors, judges, and industry professionals from across Ohio were in attendance.
Riverside BPA students made 19 trips to the stage to collect their hardware for placing in the top 10 contests during the awards ceremony. In addition to the team and individual contests, 19 student members received their Statesman torch award. This is an award earned by students exemplifying high levels of leadership, service, cooperation, friendship, knowledge, and patriotism in their schools and communities.
As the students prepare to make a once-in-a-lifetime trip to California, the preparations continue not only for their contests but also to raise funds to fully experience all that the conference has to offer. Ohio Hi-Point Career Center pays for registrations, transportation, and room accommodations. The students are responsible for any food and excursions that they partake in while at the conference. In addition to personal funds, students rely on chapter fundraising money.
The chapter takes part in year-round fundraising, according to chapter advisor and business program teacher Lindsay Wyan. From selling donuts to DJing school dances and car washes, the students are always looking for ways to make money to help them experience adventure outside of the classroom.
Wyan often shares that the students’ real education comes in the moments, not in the testing room, but during travel, dining, and general networking that BPA helps facilitate. Traveling from a small town in Logan County to a national conference means flying. The majority of students have never flown before and are frightened. Wyan, a nervous flier herself, shows students that sometimes growth can be scary, but worth it in the end.