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Charting the Future: Explorers' Record-Breaking Year in FBLA

by Luke Meinhardt

Mr. Corazon (left) poses with CCHS competitors at FBLA Orlando in 2023.

In mid-January, Columbus’ chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) participated in their district competition against high schools from across the county. They aimed to secure advancement to the state competition in mid-March. Their team's achievement of 72 district awards not only set a new record for our school but also represented the highest number of awards won by any school in the district this year. This performance marks a significant milestone in the chapter's history and underscores its growing success within Columbus.

The Future Business Leaders of America is a national organization that aims to, according to its website, “inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences,” according to their mission statement. At its core FBLA aims to provide students with opportunities to explore the business world beyond the classroom, offering exposure to real-world business scenarios and challenges.

Through a variety of competitions, workshops, and leadership development programs, FBLA helps students develop the essential skills for future careers in business.

As the club’s vice president Dante Muñecas puts it, “Although we learn a lot about the more technical side of business, I find the most important aspect of the club has been its role in helping me become a better leader while having fun doing it.” 

FBLA competition is made up of 77 different categories, covering a broad range of topics from Accounting to Website Design. The competition is designed to assess students' abilities in a variety of formats, including tests, presentations, and pre-judged materials such as research papers and professional resumes.

One example is the Accounting 1 category which involves a comprehensive 100-question exam. Whereas the Business Ethics category requires participants to complete a test, write a report, and give a presentation. This diverse approach to competition allows students to compete in the subjects that interest them, as well as develop a wide range of skills.

The club's moderator, Mr. Corazon, commenting on the competition's inclusivity, highlights its capacity to allow for diverse interests.

"What makes [FBLA] great is that everyone really has the opportunity to find something they’re interested in," he said.

Columbus' FBLA chapter is the largest club at the school, with nearly 170 active members. A large portion of the steady growth and success of the chapter can be attributed not just to the students, but to the leadership of Mr. Corazon, who took over as the club's moderator in 2016. Since then, the chapter has seen a significant resurgence, with increased membership and engagement.

This revitalization has not only helped to improve the club's profile but also had a positive impact on the development of its members. Adrian Jimenez, the Chapter’s president, has high praise for Mr. Corazon's leadership.

“His knowledge and experience, not only in FBLA but in the business world, mean that he is able to coach and guide us through the competition process very effectively,” he said.
Mr. Corazon (left) rallies the CCHS competitors at FBLA Orlando in 2023.

On March 15, those who qualified will be heading up to Orlando to compete against teams from across Florida at the state competition. There, they’ll compete in the same categories that brought them there, only this time, in person. Over three days, they’ll participate in different written tests and oral presentations. Additionally, they’ll have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers and network with other members.

Overall, States is just the next step for an FBLA chapter that has blossomed into one of the most successful clubs in the school and appears to be on the path to long-term success with no limit in sight.

For those interested in a deeper understanding of Mr. Corazon's impact at Columbus, click here to read a Q&A with him that follows his career and time at our school.

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