FBLA objective testing will take place at OPHS

Sectional portion to be issued ahead of the official conference

Future Business Leaders of America, a club at Oak Park High School, is part of a greater organization that hosts annual conferences. This year, a portion of the Gold Coast Leadership Conference will take place on the OPHS campus for the first time in FBLA history. The sectional is a gateway to competing on state and national levels.

FBLA is centered around aspects of business, such as communication and management, as well as how to be a leader in those fields. The club also covers information technology, computer services and how to apply those in the business world. Oak Park is now an objective testing site for the club member’s skills in those areas.

“It’s mainly just to get students kind of dipping their toes into the world of business and everything that has to do with it,” club co-president Sandhya Sridhar said. 

In the past, the format of the sectional conference has had Oak Park FBLA members travel to Pasadena or Westlake High School, where they would then take a 100 multiple-choice question exam on a certain topic. 

“At the upcoming section conference, our freshmen and sophomores will compete in intro events such as Introduction to Information Technology and Introduction to Business. And then the performance part of it are things that might be more improv speeches,” Sridhar said. “When our members place at the Sectional, they’ll move on to the State Conference. If we can place there it’s on to Nationals.”

According to Sridhar, this switch to a different location is an event mandate in response to the pandemic.

“Due to COVID this year, [the conference] is sort of half in person, half not in person,” Sridhar said. “Usually, in previous times without COVID, objective tests would be in person, in a classroom, proctored by the FBLA staff themselves.”

Objective testing will happen the weekend of Feb. 5 with the main conference and the remainder of FBLA competition events taking place the following weekend. This half of the event is performance-based and will take place at Westlake High school.

“Details still need to be finalized,” Sridhar said. “A portion of the conference has never taken place at Oak Park [High School] before, simply because we’ve never had the need to.”