On Saturday, November 4, 15 students from Elk County Catholic’s Future Business Leaders of America Chapter headed to the Pocono Mountains to attend this year’s State Leadership Conference. The group stayed at the Kalahari Resort and were fortunate enough to participate in many workshops that not only increased their knowledge of the business world but also strengthened their leadership skills.
The workshops covered a variety of topics, ranging from helping students excel in high school to applying for college and financial aid scholarships. Others focused on being a responsible social media user, entrepreneurship, appropriate business attire and appearance, and more.
One of the most important events at the conference each year is the Battle of the Chapters, an activity where students are quizzed on the history and practices of FBLA as well as current news events. This year, three Elk County Catholic students represented the school’s chapter during the competition – Dominic Gismondi, Isaac Gradl, and Lauryn Dippold. Out of the 77 schools that participated, Elk County Catholic placed second in the contest, a huge accomplishment in the FBLA world.
In addition to the workshops, the students participated in the conference’s annual dodgeball tournament, spent time at the Kalahari Waterpark, and ate at delicious Mexican and Italian restaurants. They also encountered friends throughout the trip, many of which they still correspond with today.
One of the conference’s guest speakers was Stacey Toy, who often walks the red carpet at the Grammys and will again in January.
Another speaker was Mark Dennebaum, who has produced many movies including “Hotel for Dogs”. He talked about how he was a failure in school and became an alcoholic and a drug addict. He wanted to speak to the conference attendees to encourage them not to follow in his footsteps, to believe in themselves, and to make a living out of something they love. Dennebaum has been sober for over 10 years, owns his own business, and is currently working on an upcoming movie in Las Vegas.