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North Thurston High School FBLA 2016-2017

FBLA is my escape. I started out my Freshman year of high school diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) I had a difficult time fitting in through high school, and extracurriculars I was involved in such as theater and cheerleader, triggered my anxiety, instead of being fun. I joined FBLA my freshman year. Since then I have never been happier. FBLA has been my safe place. It is an organization that uplifts members and gives praise for the little things. FBLA has helped me become a better person and has surrounded me with people who I consider forever friends. I hope, after high school, to still be involved in this organization and help in every way I can. I want to inspire FBLA members to work hard and achieve their goals. FBLA has completely changed my life and joining this program was the best choice I’ve made. I am extremely proud to be an FBLA member.

Alyssa Kreg
Fife Hish School

When I think back to significant events that shaped and influenced my life, I know that joining organizations like FBLA and Phi Beta Lambda have had some of the most far-reaching outcomes.

As a teen, there is no way I could have known that joining FBLA would open my eyes and expose me to opportunities that I could not have otherwise imagined.  Coming from a small town could have limited my perception of what is possible beyond the 12th grade.  My deep gratitude goes to my teacher and friend, Miss Alice Vetter at Napavine High School, for making FBLA the “cool club” that my friends and I wanted to join.  

Through this small chapter, I experienced responsibility, fundraising, travel, hotels, professionalism, dining, and competition in ways that challenged and thrilled me.  I felt important and empowered.  As a 16-year-old, I became convinced that I was meant to be a business teacher--like Miss Vetter--and she believed in me and helped me understand my career pathway, even beyond high school.  

I became a Business Education teacher and an FBLA advisor in 1987; I am still teaching my heart out and am deeply invested in helping students find their own career pathway in the Renton School District.

Carla Smith
Teacher Academy Coordinator-CTE 
Recruiting Washington Teachers 

How do you convince a student to join FBLA? When Mike Oechsner, the Executive Director for Washington State FBLA, was a freshman at W. F. West High School in Chehalis, WA, I mentioned in class that he should join FBLA. He asked why. My quick-thinking response was “you can type.”  That was all it took. Mike joined and was golden in every competition, he became the Southwest regional Vice President, and after various experiences with working with the State FBLA organization, he is employed by TRI Leadership Resources, LLC, and has taken over the leadership position for Washington. We are fortunate to have his leadership and I am indeed proud to have used those three profound words that convinced him to join.

Zoe Vandegrift
Former FBLA Adviser
W. F. High School

FBLA gave me the opportunity to extend learning beyond the walls of my classroom and the rich, competitive event opportunities really motivated my students to sharpen their writing, speaking and presentation skills. I can't tell you how much growth I personally witnessed in my students just from their first year of FBLA membership! In a word…INCREDIBLE! 

Keith Hannah
Former FBLA  Adviser
Fife Junior High School

When I think about Washington FBLA, four words come to mind, confidence, community, connections, and clarity.

Confidence because WA FBLA teaches you how to be confident in who you are as a leader and as a person. I’ve learned to speak in front of thousands when I used to shudder at the thought of speaking in front of two. It also teaches you to make confident decisions. You may make mistakes at times, but that is okay, you just use them to strengthen your knowledge to make a better decision the second time.

Community because WA FBLA creates its own family that spans from east to west and north to south, all across this state. Many of you have graced me with the opportunity to be your friend, support, and shoulder to cry on at crazy hours of the night. I cannot even begin to explain how thankful I am to those of you who have let me into your lives even outside of FBLA. I have loved being the person you call seeking advice or just someone to talk to.

Connections because WA FBLA opens doors for all of us. Whether it’s a conversation starter during an interview, or having the opportunity to meet the CFO of a major corporation. We are creating connections, NOW that will benefit us for the rest of our lives! I have this theory that the more genuine connections I can make, the greater impact I can have on the world. So I urge you all to make a genuine connection today and see how it changes your daily life. And lastly

Clarity because WA FBLA prepares you for your future. I would not know where I wanted to go in my life if I hadn’t joined FBLA. This organization has a habit of taking you by surprise and showing you just how many opportunities are within your reach. It helps us senior guide our way into deciding where we want to go and who we will become.

Alli Redd
2016-17 WA FBLA

FBLA has given me unbelievable experiences and opportunities over the years . . . .   I love FBLA and am so grateful for the organization.  I would not be the capable young service-minded leader I am today without FBLA.  I am very proud to be involved in such an incredible organization

Rebecca Fortner
2017 Scholarship Recipient
Odessa High School