FBLA students active in professional development

Published 11:16 am Wednesday, November 18, 2015

AMERICUS — Professional development is a phrase all business students at Americus Sumter High School are getting well-acquainted with this school year as they are encouraged to earn national credentials and learn more about what it means to be college and career ready.
As a result of collaboration between secondary-level business teachers, all students in all levels of business courses are required to complete a professional development portfolio. Although active participation in FBLA is not required, it is strongly encouraged. Other requirements are participating in several hours of community service, earning a national FBLA credential, and competing in an official FBLA competition.
“We wanted to see our students getting more involved in extra-curricular organizations like FBLA,” says Kristan Price, FBLA adviser and business education teacher. “As business teachers, we all agreed that the best way for our students to grow into young professionals was for them to start putting themselves out there in the community and in competitive events. It’s our job to challenge them and expose them to new opportunities. We know we will make an impact on all Americus Sumter students through this professional development portfolio and FBLA participation.”
Membership efforts are ongoing, but the level of commitment to the FBLA organization has grown dramatically since school began in August. The teachers expect record membership this year.
“I am pleased with the level of interest in our organization thus far and the enthusiasm we have seen about what our organization has to offer,” says Dorothy Bruce, business teacher and FBLA adviser at the 9th Grade Academy. “As a collaborative group, Mrs. Tamara Coley, Mr. Brooks Robinson, and Price worked very hard this summer to develop a plan to engage students in these sorts of professional development experiences through classroom and extra-curricular activities.”
FBLA students recently had an opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions with two professional-level Panther alumni, Frank Harvey and Tisha Coleman.
Coleman was a 2011 honor graduate of Americus-Sumter County High, and former senior class president. She graduated from the University of Mississippi in Oxford with a degree in journalism and just completed a professional internship with Trending NY, a New York City-based magazine company. Coleman advised students to start their own blog about whatever gives them passion and to learn about and follow the professionals in their fields of interest. She gave them real-world examples of how positive and responsible social media presence can provide a “foot-in-the-door” for internships with big-time companies.
“It’s always nice to come back and speak to the CTAE students,” says Coleman. “Not only does it give me the opportunity to give back to my high school, but also allows the students to know there is a world of opportunities. I enjoyed hearing what they were passionate about whether it pertained to my particular field or not. I made sure that they knew as long as they love the field that’s all that mattered.”
Harvey, was also an honor graduate in the Class of 2009. He continued his education at University of Georgia (UGA), earning a degree in finance. He will graduate December 2015, from the University of North Carolina with his master’s in law. Harvey shared his experiences as a working college student at UGA and lots of stories about what it takes to be successful at the next level. Students were pleased to learn that his strong foundation built in high school is what propelled him to his future successes.
“It was a wonderful experience to see two of my former students, both of which were also on my yearbook staff, and hear stories of their success in college and the real world,” says Price. “Our students learned so much from them both and were inspired to look more seriously at their post-secondary careers.”

Frank Harvey, a graduate of Americus-Sumter County High School,  talked to Kristan Price's journalism class about his college and professional experiences.

Frank Harvey, a graduate of Americus-Sumter County High School, talked to Kristan Price’s journalism class about his college and professional experiences.