Now a current freshman at Loyola University Chicago, Raihan Sayeedserved as the Vice President of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter at his high school. Founded in 1940 and headquartered in Reston, Virginia, the FBLA is an American career organization that primarily involves national high school students. In addition, the FBLA also maintains ties with the collegiate level Phi Beta Lambda society, forming the full organizational acronym of FBLA-PBL. With more than 250,000 members across the United States, the FBLA-PBL is the largest student business organization in the country.Established in 1937 by the head of the prestigious Teachers College of Columbia University, the FBLA earned sponsorship from the National Business Education Association in 1940. After creating its first chapter in Johnson City, Tennessee, the FBLA authorized its first state chapter in Iowa shortly thereafter. By 1994, the FBLA had established separate divisions for middle school students, college students, and current professionals.

Today, the FBLA-PBL holds annual competitions that cover topics such as public speaking, technology, and business. Specific competitions include Public Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Website Development, Accounting, Management Decision Making, and Technology Concepts. The majority of individual competitions involve a multiple choice Scantron test or public speaking. Team competitions feature three unique structures: a two- or three-person team that submits a written solution to a problem, a two- or three-person team that submits a report or website, and a four- or five-person team that takes a test and averages the scores. Winners of competitions move up the regional ladder, progressing from local competition to state competition and eventually arriving at the national level. Winners at the national competition earn a spot on stage at the Awards of Excellence Program at the National Leadership Conference.

In addition to the various competitions sponsored by the FBLA-PBL, the organization also organizes State Leadership Conferences (SLC). During the SLCs, students participate in workshops and also have the opportunity to run for state officer positions. At National Leadership Conferences, held in major cities across the country during the early summer, participating students attend seminars, square off in the national competition, and run for national officer positions. As the FBLA’s elected speaker and leader, Raihan Sayeed represented the Lincoln-Way School District at the Business leaders annual conference held in March, 2010, in Decatur, Illinois. He was awarded the Certificate of Merit for second place in marketing.

To learn more about the FBLA-PBL, visit the website at fbla-pbl.org.

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