Photo By: Courtey of Katherine Liu
Members of Los Altos High’s Future Business Leaders of America club visited Disney Playdom offices in Palo Alto recently. Pictured, from left, are Disney Playdom’s Human Resources Manager Deanna Grams, William Liu, Jerry Liu, Katherine Liu, Emily Cheng, Michelle Deng, Michelle Tom and Sirata Sriram.
The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club at Los Altos High School has experienced a spike in participation, keeping students busy on top of their regular high school schedules.
Director of Projects Katherine Liu said the club is involved in more than 50 events each year, ranging from visiting local businesses to competing against other FBLA clubs and submitting three main projects for judging in state and national competitions.
The club introduces high school students to business, personal finance, public speaking, impromptu speaking, professional presentations, business plans, marketing strategies and entrepreneurships.
“Our main goal is to teach students about business through projects and competitions,” said Liu, a junior.
This year’s activities culminated in a 29-page American Enterprise Report, which will be entered into the state competition in April.
Club members partnered with InnVision Shelter Network, a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping homeless families in Silicon Valley return to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. FBLA students promoted Inn-Vision’s newest program, 5,000 Smiles, which aims to provide oral hygiene products to Bay Area homeless shelters.
Club leaders saw the project and partnership as an opportunity to teach FBLA students about entrepreneurship and marketing. The club contacted local businesses and the city of Los Altos to assist with its goals. A partnership with Main Dental of Los Altos connected students with other high-level dental representatives, resulting in donations from large companies such as Colgate.
“The point wasn’t just collecting for the drive,” Liu said. “We were running the marketing campaign for the nonprofit. We designed logos and drives and it was really successful.”
Most club members spend approximately three hours a week on the projects and the competition, Liu said. It’s not unusual for Liu to devote up to 10 hours a week to club business while balancing her schoolwork.
“I feel I have really changed my life because of Future Business Leaders of America,” she said. “When you meet FBLA members from other schools, it inspires you.”
The club was fairly small a few years ago but has grown to 60 active members after its success in competitions over the past few years.
“Everything has been such a huge learning experience, and it gives you a chance to take on a leadership role,” Liu said. “I’ve been a member since freshmen year, and while I can’t say it has pushed me into a career choice, it has definitely given me the skills to pursue anything I want. FBLA is helpful for whatever career path you take.”
For more information, visit lahsfbla.org.