Ludington students participate in national leadership conference In Boston

May 16, 2016
From left to right Kate Goodman, Gabrielle Gonzales, Alyssa Schmid, Griffin Gonzales, Mrs. Tomaski, Conner Grant, Abbygail Rodriguez, Joseph Nickelson and Meredith Filter.

From left to right
Kate Goodman, Gabrielle Gonzales, Alyssa Schmid, Griffin Gonzales, Mrs. Tomaski, Conner Grant, Abbygail Rodriguez, Joseph Nickelson and Meredith Filter.

Meredith Filter received the award for Community Service for our chapter.

Meredith Filter received the award for Community Service for our chapter.

LUDINGTON — Students and advisors of Ludington High School and OJ DeJonge Middle School recently participated in the National Leadership Conference of Business Professionals of America in Boston. A total of three high school and five middle school members from these chapters were among the approximate 6,000 students, advisors and guests from across the United States participating in the 50th National Leadership Conference.

The National Leadership Conference is a culmination of the hard work and effort put in by members throughout the year. It brings students from across the country together to participate, network and compete. Activities included general sessions with keynote speakers, business meetings, leadership workshops, contests, election of national officers, and tours of Boston sights and attractions. The highlights of the conference included the revival of legacy competitions such as typing and shorthand, a Golden Celebration at Fenway Park, setting a new Guinness World Records title, and the presentation of the awards to the winners of the national contests.

Ludington chapter was part of a successful attempt to break a Guinnes Book of World Records at the BPA Main Event at Fenway Park.

Ludington chapter was part of a successful attempt to break a Guinnes Book of World Records at the BPA Main Event at Fenway Park.

“The success of the Ludington BPA program at the 2016 BPA National Leadership Conference is not only from the members that participated in Boston, but also from the members of our entire program,” said advisor Melanie Tomaski. “Ludington High School is the only chapter from Michigan to receive the national Quality Chapter Distinction Award. It is also the only chapter from Michigan to receive the national Community Service Award.  Our program is comprised of more than 60 members all working together, grades 6-12, striving to improve their skills and knowledge as they conduct volunteer activities and give service for our school and for our community.”

Eight of the 21 Michigan delegates who served as interns were from the Ludington BPA program. LHS members Meredith Filter, Griffin Gonzales and Alyssa Schmid and OJ members Gabrielle Gonzales, Kate Goodman, Conner Grant, Joseph Nickelson and Abbygail Rodriguez traveled to Boston to attend this conference. Only Five Michigan Middle Level delegates served an internship, and they were all from the OJ DeJonge BPA chapter, Tomaski said. OJ DeJonge Middle School student, Abbygail Rodriguez, was one of only four selected across the United States, to participate in the National Office for a Day program.  High School seniors Meredith Filter and Alyssa Schmid, served as voting delegates. Tomaski received National Honor Advisor recognition for Years of Service.

Griffin Gonzales, 1st place, Econ project.

Griffin Gonzales, 1st place, Econ project with Meredith Filter and Alyssa Schmid

Four Michigan students received the Ambassador Torch Award of which three — Meredith Filter, Griffin Gonzales & Alyssa Schmid — were from Ludington High School. The Ambassador Torch award is the highest honor a member can receive. The program frames and guides a BPA member’s leadership and service to their chapter and community. Students complete activities in the seven Torch categories: Leadership, Service, Cooperation, Knowledge, Friendship, Love, Hope, Faith and Patriotism, then log their activities in an online Torch Résumé.

  All participated in one or more competitive events throughout the week. Griffin Gonzales took first place in Economic Research Project; followed by a fourth and seventh place win in Entrepreneurship Exploration Project for Kate Goodman and Gabrielle Gonzales, respectively. Kate also captured a third place win in Extemporaneous Speech.  Joseph Nickelson and Gabrielle Gonzales earned 11th and 12th place in Financial Literacy, respectively.

“We wanted to celebrate this historic milestone for BPA by hosting a conference that 50-years from now our members can look back on and say they were a part of something amazing,” said Executive Director Kirk Lawson. “What better way to celebrate not only the past 50-years of our organization, but all the amazing accomplishments of our students and advisors than to hold the 50th National Leadership Conference in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” 

“There were so many historical landmarks and places to see in Boston that were within walking distance or by way of people moving systems,” Tomaski said. “Our students were able to walk a portion of the Freedom Trail, visited Harvard, MIT, Fenway Park, the shiny state capital building, saw Bunker Hill, and the Old North Church building where Paul Revere gave the ‘two if by sea’ lantern signal that still resides, in the Boston metro area. Students held many discussions, shared their knowledge of the area, including stories from their teachers and family members.  Most students had never traveled by way of subway systems and we traveled on both green and red lines. “It was an unforgettable experience for our students to be recognized for their knowledge and skills in so many different ways, but an equally historical place to have captivated it.”

About Business Professionals of America

Business Professionals of America, Inc. (BPA) is the leading career technical student organization (CTSO) for students pursuing careers in business management, information technology, office administration, marketing and other related career fields. Established in 1966, BPA is an intra-curricular national membership organization dedicated to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic and technological skills. The organization serves secondary, post-secondary and middle level students and educators by offering programs based on national standards spanning five career pathways: finance, business administration, management information systems, digital communication & design and management, marketing & communication.           

For more information, visit: www.bpa.org

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