The week before Spring Break, 14 students from Northeast Technology Center’s Kansas Campus attended the Business Professionals of America State Competition in Tulsa, and eight of those students are advancing to the national competition.
“At first, I couldn’t believe it was me, then I was ecstatic,” said Maddy Welch, of Oaks. “It didn’t really hit me that I won first place until I was walking off the stage. It was kind of surreal – I was still in shock that I placed.”
Business Professionals of America (BPA) is one of the Career and Technical Student Organizations available to students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related career fields. With more than 45,000 members across the nation, BPA is a co-curricular organization that supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards.
Under the advisement of instructor Crystal Beyers, the 14 students from NTC Kansas competed in numerous competition categories, each of which had its own unique requirements.
“Our students participated in a variety of contests, from database applications and entrepreneurship to graphic design promotion and economic research,” said Beyers. “These students have been working on their projects for months, so it’s exciting when their hard work pays off.”
Of the 14 students who participated in the BPA State Competition, eight students placed high enough to advance to the BPA National Competition. Those students moving on to nationals are: Maddy Welch of Oaks, Johannah Amos of Colcord, Wyatt Johnson of Jay, Skyler Ziebarth of Colcord, Delina Bennett of Oaks, Abbey Rice of Rose, Ariel Peters of Kansas, and Ashleigh Brill of Siloam Springs, AR.,
Welch was the most decorated of her classmates making it to the winner’s circle on three different occasions. She placed first in Economic Research, second in the Administrative Support Research Project and third in Management, Marketing and Human Resources Concepts.
“I really like the economic one the best, because I had to do so much work to even understand the topic, not to mention all of the work I put into it once I fully understood what I was doing,” Welch said. “By the time I was finished with that project I had a great grasp on all the relevant information, which made me more confident.”
Welch and her seven other winning classmates will travel to Orlando, Florida, on May 10-14 to compete in the BPA National Competition.
“I plan to study more about my subjects so that I can compete at a higher level,” said Welch. “I’m going to focus on fine-tuning my presentation, and work on controlling my nerves so I can do my best.”
As was true of the state competition, BPA Nationals will also offer participants plenty of opportunities for learning via workshops, networking and one-of-a-kind lecture sessions from industry experts. At the BPA State Competition, for example, students were able to meet the woman behind the voice of Siri. The BPA National Competition will offer many similar professional development opportunities for students, as well as plenty of fun activities to celebrate their accomplishment.
“I’m really excited to be staying in a Disney Hotel, and about the activities planned with my classmates and sponsor,” Welch said. “It’s a lot of pressure, but I want to represent us in the most positive way possible by continuing to work hard, proving that we do what we have to in order to achieve great things.”