Two Robinson students were elected to state officer positions at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference in early April.
After serving as regional president for the 2010-2011 term, junior Akif Shameem was elected to the position of FBLA state president. With the slogan “Dare to Succeed, Vote for Akif Shameem,” Shameem won the favor of his voters by giving away glow sticks and Doritos at his booth at the campaign rally. Shameem said he didn't really have a campaign strategy.
"I had the qualifications, ran on an effective platform, gave 120%, and I came out victorious," Shameem said.
Shameem is a very active member of FBLA. Not only was Shameem elected president, but he also placed in several competitions at the conference. With fellow Robinson FBLA members Michael Dulan and Katie Karas, Shameem placed third in the American Enterprise Project, which is designed to increase awareness about an aspect of the community or economy. With classmates Sravan Kumar Karra and Uvindu Wannichchige, Shameem placed fourth in the category of Partnership with Business, in which they partnered with DeVry University.
Dulan and Shameem also placed second in the State Service Project, raising money for Project ASK (Association for the Support of Children with Cancer). Robinson raised about $400 for this cause, and over $4000 regionally. Shameem’s personal competition, in which he placed third, was Health Care Administration, where he had to demonstrate his knowledge of the business side of medical services. Finally, Shameem also won the Howard Walker Scholarship, which will be paying for his attendance to the “Institute for Leaders” two-day leadership development program which is being held in Orlando, Florida.
“Being a state officer, I do have a huge time commitment, but I'm so passionate about FBLA, the hours I spend working for the organization just fly by," Shameem said.
Shameem’s favorite part about participating in FBLA is that he gets to attend conferences all over the United States and that he is able to work with students from all over the country.
Graham Rockwood, a junior in his first year of FBLA, became corresponding secretary to Shameem at the conference in a joint election. Rockwood was selected by Shameem as a running mate, and serves as the “right hand man” of the president.
“Akif selected me because I have known him since elementary school," Rockwood said. "He considered me someone who was trustworthy and knew that I could handle the job.”
Rockwood doesn’t have to give as big of a time commitment to FBLA as Shameem but will still attend seasonal conferences and participate in larger FBLA events.
“[Graham Rockwood] is a superb student, has impeccable character, and is a powerful leader," guidance counselor, Mitch Aydlette, said.
Robinson FBLA students also won several other awards at the conference.Seniors Michael Dulan and Aiden Geaghan both won the Crumley Peele Thompson Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded at the regional level with $50, based on a written application which included information such as their ACT/SAT scores, GPA, leadership influence, personal responsibility and initiative, maturity, awards, achievements, and work experience. The students also had to submit two letters of recommendation with their applications. After placing at the regional level, the top ten students competed at the state in an interview by a panel of three judges, in which they answered ten questions, including “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” and “What is your greatest achievement?”
The top two state finalists were awarded $1000 each, toward their college education. Dulan was one of the state finalists, ultimately earning $1050 toward his college education, and Geaghan was an alternate, winning $50 at the regional level.
The FBLA State Leadership Conference was held at the Reston Hyatt Regency on April 8th and 9th. Robinson Students placed in the top 4 in 10 separate categories at the conference, and the school placed 3rd in the Outstanding Chapter competition. Students who placed in the top two will be representing the state at the National Leadership Conference, which will be held in Orlando, Florida in June.