Future Business Leaders Excel

Thomas Ou ’24
EE Managing Editor

Trumbull High’s reputation of being the birthplace of bright and successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople was put to the test last month in the annual Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competition. Needless to say, the students left no doubt in people’s minds when they showcased their extraordinary skills and expertise in the statewide competition, breaking a longstanding Trumbull High record.

FBLA is a national organization for high school students that provides opportunities to develop business and leadership skills in a professional and competitive setting. Their mission aligns with Trumbull’s goals of inspiring and preparing students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society.

“FBLA has revealed the transformative power of networking, innovation, and teamwork,” said Aarav Raina, one of this year’s competitors, “collaboration is the key to taking a business from good to great”. 

Raina developed a business that connects home chefs with users looking for healthy meal alternatives alongside his partner, Pranay Sen, who believed that “FBLA allowed [him] to think like an entrepreneur and improve the skill of building connections”. 

Both of these students demonstrated their exceptional talent and expertise, earning top honors and qualifying for the national competition. Their success was commonplace among all Trumbull competitors. 

“I wasn’t involved in many extracurriculars,” commented Austin Matera, who placed third in the state, “but FBLA opened the door to a world of opportunity and has helped me become more engaged with Trumbull High’s growing community”.

Trumbull High will be sending a record-breaking number of students to the FBLA National Leadership Conference, which will take place this summer. The students who placed in the top three and will be competing at the national level are freshman Rahas Sachdeva and Rithik Gunda; juniors Shaan Raja, Austin Matera, Aarav Raina, Pranay Sen, Thomas Ou, Marcelo Deras, and Jash Desai; and seniors Sri Palla, Niall Zaman, and Joe-Eddy Vilsaint. These students were all selected based on their outstanding performance at the state competition, where they demonstrated their mastery of business concepts and principles.

“We had a great squad this year and our entire group was so passionate and dedicated towards finding success” said FBLA club president, Sri Palla. He believed that the success of the students were in large part due to their advisor, Katelyn Southard.

“I am extremely proud of all 16 members that competed at the FBLA Spring Leadership Conference” said Southard when asked about the competition, “It is wonderful to see the passion these students brought to revive the club after a few years of decreased membership due to the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

This year, Trumbull FBLA was given the “largest increase in Local Chapter Members under 50 members” award due to this incredible growth. Additionally, a team of three juniors, Thomas Ou, Marcelo Deras, and Jash Desai, were able to make history in Trumbull High by securing first place in the CSP category.

“It’s honestly incredible we made it so far,” said Desai, “the satisfaction of knowing that everyone contributed their best efforts and that it paid off in the end is a feeling that cannot be replicated.” Their project was centered around building a student-led hydroponics garden at the local Hillcrest Middle School in order to deliver immersive educational experiences on sustainability and technology. “The community garden was at first challenging to get started but through FBLA we were able to work together and see our goals accomplished,” said Deras. 

For me, being part of this group has been an incredible journey of hard work, dedication, and collaboration. FBLA has taught me that life is much more than just a zero-sum game because success is rarely achieved alone. For all students remotely interested in the fields of business and leadership, I would highly recommend being a part of this organization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hit Counter provided by Los Angeles SEO