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Weber State University student Brook Young took first place for Future Business Teacher at the Phi Beta Lambda Future Business Leaders of America Leadership Conference.
WSU has been involved in the PBL conference for more than 40 years, with one of its instructors winning first place in the same event in 1972. This year, 17 WSU students placed in the top 10 at the PBL, with Young taking first place.
“It was an amazing feeling, being the last one standing on the stage,” Young said.
Angela Christensen is adviser to the students at PBL. She talked about the work students were able to do independently and the amount they were able to accomplish on their own.
“We try and help them grow and learn as leaders,” Christensen said. “And they basically run the show on their own, and we just help them as needed.”
Future Business Teacher was the event that Young chose to compete in at the PBL because of her major in business teaching. She was required to submit materials to the national organization for judging, interview for a position as business teacher before a panel of judges, then present a lesson plan to judges in the category of financial literacy, in which she chose the topic of budget, and finally, display the lesson plan to judges as if they were high-school students.
Her work was rewarded in the form of a first-place trophy, $750, and recognition for what she achieved.
“It was amazing,” Young said, “something that I never thought would happen. I competed at nationals last year in other events, and I didn’t place in the top 10 in any of these events, so I never expected to make it to the top 10.”
Young is the current public relations officer for WSU at the PBL. During the conference, Danielle Rich, who was also a public relations officer for WSU and took sixth place at the PBL, was elected the public relations officer for the State of Utah.
Rich, who ran unopposed for the position, talked about how she wanted to strengthen the network between different PBL chapters in Utah.
“I’m going to try to increase communication with everyone so everyone feels connected and knows what’s going on with the organization,” Rich said.
Harrison Spendlove was also elected president for the State of Utah at PBL after running against another person for the position.
“It’s an organization that I’ve been involved with since high school,” Spendlove said, “and I’ve always enjoyed being a part of it, and it felt good to be able to participate more in it and help guide where it’s going to go in Utah.”
As president of PBL for the State of Utah, Spendlove said he wants to focus on more service-oriented projects for PBL and increasing the number of students involved in it at the college level. PBL is the largest student business organization in the world, and Spendlove said he envisions working on furthering membership growth in his new position.
“One of the biggest problems is getting FBLA students transferred over to the college version of it once they’re done with high school,” he said.
Christensen talked about how she felt about the overall success of WSU students at this year’s PBL conference.
“I’m just really proud of the students,” she said. “They did well this year. It was just a great experience for everybody. They keep Weber State proud.”
She pointed out that the fact that students are willing and able to participate at the conference is something the university should take pride in as well.
“It doesn’t matter if they place first or 10th,” she said. “We are still proud of them.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been changed to use the accurate acronym for Phi Beta Lambda, PBL.