Fundraising for Nationals: Why, When, and How

Students in FBLA across the country have been preparing for months to compete at State Competition - running through mock competitions with their peers, using hundreds of rating sheets, making sure that their presentations will be spot on and their test scores will be nothing less than an ace.

Now it’s the big day: you’ve finally made it to state! You passed district and regional competitions, and now you’re on the big stage. The announcer says the name of your event over the loudspeakers, listing off the finalists, when your name is called! You rush backstage and then emerge to accept your award in front of your friends and your state. Finally, you’ve made it to nationals! But some FBLA members don’t get that chance. Lack of funding in some school systems and the inability to pay out-of-pocket for the transportation and lodging that comes with the National Leadership Conference keeps even our best and brightest members from reaching their full potential.


Why Should You Fundraise?

The answer to this question is simple: community involvement! The more you attempt to fundraise in your community, the more questions you will be asked. Questions are a great chance to raise awareness about the message of FBLA in your school. You can explain to those you are asking for donations from what FBLA means to you so that everyone can understand the true impact FBLA has on communities at-large.


When Should You Fundraise?

Timing is key when asking for funding for your trek to the National Leadership Conference! In most cases, the sooner you start fundraising, the better outcome you will generate. After your state’s conferences, you will have a full list of awards your chapter and chapter members received, which can be used as a great tool of leverage. This list can demonstrate the success of your chapter and provide an incentive for businesses and individuals to give back to the community.

When planning your fundraisers, try to not host one at the same time another school organization is hosting one. This can create conflict of interest among the community, who may feel they can only donate to one cause or who may be on a budget and can only donate so much to FBLA.


How Can You Fundraise?

Fundraising can be as simple or as complicated as you would like to make it, but every fundraiser needs two key components: promotion and enjoyment! Promoting your fundraiser in your community, spreading the reasons why you are fundraising, and explaining how those in your community can help you reach your goals is very important to the fundraiser’s success. Enjoyment could mean that those who want to donate to you may participate in some sort of game or drawing for a prize basket or other items. Sometimes, fundraisers don’t have to be just at your school, especially if you live in an urban or suburban community! Doing door-to-door fundraisers can be highly successful and may generate plenty of funds for your cause, but this should never be done without an adult. When hosting a fundraiser, always check with your school administration beforehand to ensure you won’t be in violation of a school policy.

Us at FBLA wish you the best of luck in fundraising and finding new ways to Create, Lead, and Inspire at the 2019 National Leadership Conference in San Antonio this June & July!



Running for Office: The Essentials

Running for any office, including an FBLA position, can be a lot of work, and even be downright stressful at times. But, there is hope for all of you who desire to be lead in a position that requires a lot of effort to attain! Using these key essentials can ease the stress of working on composing the perfect campaign for the office you want to run for.

Message, Message, Message!

The repetition of the word message as the title of this section is not by mistake! Your message is crucial to the success of your campaign! Potential voters will take your message back to their chapter members and decide who supports their values the best, so you must be able to explain your message with confidence to those who ask.

Communication is Key

Your ability to communicate with other candidates, your campaign team, and voters is important to how successful your run for office will be. You must explain to your team how they should approach potential voters, the guidelines based on the work they will be doing, and ensure they fully understand the message you are trying to convey. You and those who are helping you must speak clearly and explain thoroughly the important pieces of your campaign.

Cater To Multiple Groups, Not Just One

Your campaign as a whole shouldn’t just focus on one group of people, but should rather focus on everyone. FBLA is a large group of diverse individuals who can’t all relate to the same things, so you should try and direct different parts of your campaign to those who can relate to different things.

Be Presentable

While this seems like a broad statement, it is quite simple to do. How you present yourself to others is important because it can tell them whether you truly believe in your campaign platform, if you are nervous, or if you truly have invested time and interest in making your campaign successful. Be sure that you are dressed cleanly and neatly and are following the FBLA-PBL dress code.

While these things may seem difficult to accomplish, don’t fret! It seems difficult when you first begin the planning of a campaign, but once you compose your message and team, you will find it’s a lot easier than it seems from the outside! Running for an office is highly competitive, so try to not put too much stress on yourself! If you need help developing your campaign, ask a current or former officer for tips on how to make yours successful!



NFLC Recap

By Ashley Lin and Sophie Burtman


Did you attend #NFLC18 this year? Designed to help members create, lead, and inspire, the National Fall Leadership Conferences are weekend-long events held in three locations around the nation each year. This past November, FBLA members united in Chicago, Illinois (November 2–3), Albuquerque, New Mexico (November 9–10), and Charlotte, North Carolina (November 16–17). If you weren’t able to make it, no worries. You’ll have another change at #NFLC19, and dates/locations are already up on the website here. In the meantime, we’ll be discussing the highlights of #NFLC18 in this article, specifically keynote speakers, workshops, and attendee interviews - featuring members themselves!

1. Keynote Speakers

Once again, this year’s keynote speakers for our Opening and Closing sessions were excellent! With messages ranging from encouraging students to take ownership of their lives and ambitions to showing our members that a single moment in time can change a person’s life, conferences attendees were able to walk away emboldened with a new confidence in themselves and their abilities. Without further ado, let us get into the speakers!

Brandon Lee White was born unable to even speak, but now is able to share his journey from an outcast to becoming school president, as well as his personal struggles. For six years, he battled with depression and the feeling of being an “unmotivated motivational speaker.” He uses his experience to help students overcome the tough, achieve the tough, and become tougher because of it. His message of “Love the Tough and Own It” aims to teach teens to take ownership of who they are, what they want and what holds them back. Throughout his career, Brandon has spoken at schools, the National Association of Student Councils, 4-H, and Career and Technical Student Organizations, such as FCCLA, HOSA, DECA, FFA, SkillsUSA, and, of course, FBLA. He spoke at Opening Sessions of the NFLCs in both Chicago and Charlotte.

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Carlos V. Spencer grew up playing sports and was captain of every team he ever participated in. He was a natural-born leader and later was chosen to be the class representative to lead his class and speak at graduation at his NYS police academy, becoming the first African American to do so since 1917 when the state police was first established. As a speaker, his goal is to motivate, to change, and to empower the listeners. He spoke at the NFLCs Chicago and Charlotte for the Closing Sessions of each conference.

Clint Pulver is what you could call a “jack of all trades.” He received his pilot’s licence from OK3air and Utah Valley University (UVU) and his Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication, also from UVU. During college, he held numerous leadership positions. He is also a professional drummer and was recently awarded UVU’s distinguished Young Alumni Award. In the past, he has appeared on America’s Got Talent and in several feature films. His background is in professional business and sales and includes five years as a top producing sales representative and distribution manager in the Medical Device, Capital Equipment, Disposables, and Pharmacogenetic Industries. He is an entrepreneur who is experienced in the areas of business start-up, sales management, management training, negotiations, and growing multi-million dollar accounts. When Clint speaks, his aim is challenge people to believe in themselves and in the power of others. He believes that a single moment in time can change a person’s life. He spoke at the Opening Session at Albuquerque’s NFLC.

Frank Kitchen was born in Germany to a U.S. Army father and, as a child, constantly moved from place to place. He is the third African American to earn the Benefit Auctioneer Specialist designation from the National Auctioneers Association. His career entails making keynote speeches, conducting educational workshops, and leading training programs; all of which are designed to educate, elevate, and empower leaders, entrepreneurs, and educators to produce positive results in their communities, organizations, schools, and workplaces. In his spare time, he demonstrates his passion for servant leadership by spending his time working with nonprofit organizations. Frank spoke at the NFLC in Albuquerque during the Closing Session.


2. Workshops

As Dumbledore sang in the Hogwarts song, “our heads could do with filling, with some interesting stuff” - and nowhere can FBLA find more interesting stuff than at NFLC. Our unique workshops are sourced from the greatest minds around the nation, and are designed specifically with members in mind. From exclusive tracks for the FBLA Middle Level program, to special State Officer and FBLA Foundations tracks, NFLC workshops strive to meet members where they are at. Even more exciting, workshop presenters were a group of business professionals from diverse industries, and we even heard from some student presenters as well!

For those of you at the Chicago NFLC, did you see the FBLA's Role in Legislative Affairs workshop? Hosted by the FBLA Student Representative for Government Affairs, Steven Segel, the workshop shared how FBLA members can effectively communicate with federal and state legislators, as well as advocate for CTSOs. As state legislature sessions start in the new year, we look forward to seeing chapters implement this knowledge! Other workshops Chicago NFLC featured included shark tank, an inside look at running Harvard Student Agencies (the world’s largest student run company), as well how to construct your college app narrative.

If you attended the Albuquerque NFLC, did you see the Making the Most out of Meetings workshop lead by National Parliamentarian, Michael Zhao? There, members learned how to run efficient and effective meetings using Parliamentary Procedure (missed it? No worries - ask your State Parliamentarian for an update)! Additionally, other workshops offered included strengthening chapter partnerships with March of Dimes, acting with integrity to build your personal brand, video communication essentials, and more.

At the Charlotte NFLC, a huge workshop hit was “Kiki, doth thee loveth me?” hosted by a few Middleton FBLA chapter officers from Florida. Here, members learned how to most effectively combine professionalism and friendliness for the ideal member communication mix - an interesting topic relatable for every chapter! Other workshops held at Charlotte included everything from how to create a LinkedIn profile, to unwritten rules and etiquette in the professional workplace, to learning how Wall Street works. Sound interesting? We’ll see you at #NFLC19!


3. Attendee Interviews

Introducing perhaps the most important part of our conference - our attendees! From National Officers to Middle-Level members, students from around the nation came together to make #NFLC18 the best one yet. Huge shout out to our hosting state officer teams in Illinois, New Mexico, and North Carolina, as well as the National Officers and National Staff who invested their time in designing the most most valuable experience possible. @NFLC18 attendees come from all different states, different perspectives, and different walks of life. Let’s hear what our members thought about their NFLC experience!

One North Carolina state officer, Abby Key, shared her experiences not attending one, but two NFLCs in Albuquerque and Charlotte. Serving as part of the host state officer team provided a peek “behind-the-scenes” of NFLC, such as facilitating workshops, and meeting National Staff members such as the famous Ms. Smothers. Abby shared “the workshops were coordinated, organized, the material presented was valuable… the keynote speaker was phenomenal at inspiring students,” and that attending NFLC was an opportunity she would not have traded for any other.

Kennedy Shereck, who currently serves on the North Dakota State Officer team and as Membership Director on the Mountain Plains Regional Council, attended her first ever NFLC this year in Albuquerque. “This was my first NFLC and I was not disappointed,” she said. “It was amazing.” She remembers the keynote speakers being very entertaining. She said of Pulver, “He took what he had and made an opportunity of it. . . We need to be helping people see their potential and the opportunities they have.” One of the standout workshops she attended was called “Lead Meetings that aren’t Snoozefests” by Jeff Becker. As a local chapter president, Kennedy felt that this workshop helped her learn how to lead meetings that keep members engaged and attentive.

The atmosphere at the conference was one of her favorite aspects of NFLC. “I felt so welcome. . . If it had been another organization, I don’t know if I would have felt so welcome as the only person from my state. . . And National Officers are just amazing.” In her opinion, the best part was, “definitely meeting and visiting with everybody. Meeting people has always been my favorite part of FBLA.” When asked what she would say to members who may be considering attending an NFLC in the future, Kennedy immediately responded, “Do it. You won’t regret it.”

As you can see, attending an NFLC is an incredibly valuable and rewarding experience for FBLA members. Whether you like to take notes at workshops or interact with members across the country, there is something for every kind of person. Although it is fun to travel and sightsee in the host cities, the lessons learned and the bonds formed between members are strong enough to last a lifetime. The National Fall Leadership Conferences provide the perfect opportunity for members to strengthen their leadership skills and network with other students from all over the nation. We hope to see you next year in either Washington, D.C., Birmingham, Alabama, or Denver, Colorado!







FBLA Successes During Prematurity Awareness Month

Prematurity Awareness Month has come to a close! FBLA has seen a very successful month across the nation in participation with our national service partner, March of Dimes. Here are a few highlights of the past month and the successes Future Business Leaders had in supporting mothers and premature babies across the world:


“Purplizing” World Prematurity Day!

World Prematurity Day was on November 17 this year. We saw thousands of FBLA students wear purple on social media to support the March of Dimes and raise awareness. When it comes to serving, raising awareness for a cause is the most impactful action one can take. Through World Prematurity Day and the upcoming 2019 March for Babies, FBLA is looking to make this school year’s efforts the most impactful we have yet!

Local Chapter Efforts

Chapters across the US worked in drives and events to give the March of Dimes the support it needs to make change. Through social media, you can find tons of awesome drives and events that went on to push the cause. I was excited to work on a Prematurity Awareness Drive in my own school with National March of Dimes Director Ethan Ghozali, where we raised over $120 in one day just from collecting coins! Ethan talks a bit about some local efforts in a spotlight here:


“This year Palm Harbor University High School FBLA in Florida organized our first ever March of Dimes event. Through the last week of Prematurity Awareness Month, donation jars were placed in classrooms across the school. The walls were covered with purple posters and our lunchtime booth distributed fliers to inform students on the realities of premature birth and infant mortality.

“We were also able to connect with local businesses such as Chick-Fil-A in order to receive coupon donations that we were able to give out to students who wore purple for Prematurity Awareness Day. By the end of our project we had raised over $250 in one week for our local March of Dimes chapter from spare change alone. Overall, the event was a success for PHUHS FBLA and a tradition we will carry out for years to come.”

Supporting the March on Social Media

If you aren’t following the March of Dimes on social media already, get to it! You will find news, personal and heart-touching stories, and important advice on how to get involved everyone on their Instagram and Twitter accounts. FBLA has many members and activists posting and supporting the cause through social media and articles like this one! The most important thing everyone in FBLA can do to support the cause is make people aware of it!

You can find them on Instagram and Twitter at @marchofdime

A recent post on the MoD Instagram sharing exciting news on the PREEMIE Reauthorization and Preventing Maternal Deaths Act

Working Towards our 500K GOAL

The Future Business Leaders of America plan to raise five-hundred thousand dollars for the March of Dimes by the end of this academic year! That’s a big number for a big cause, and every effort throughout the year - like the awesome school fundraisers and social media support - makes a difference in helping us get there. While we don’t know how far the whole nation is after November, we know we’re well on our way! We don’t have to be in a month or season for the fundraising to continue, though; promote March of Dimes to family, friends, and your local chapter and FBLA will be smashing that goal by the end of the year.



Keep Supporting!

While the results of Prematurity Awareness Month were impressive, FBLA and the March of Dimes are just getting started! The largest fundraiser of the year is fast approaching in Spring 2019, where March of Dimes season kicks in and dime drives are run in organizations everywhere. If your chapter missed the opportunity to make an impact with our service partner this time, keep on the lookout for the Spring season!













Advice to Younger Members from a PBL State President

Article by Casondra Rutschke and edited by Sophie Burtman

Casondra Rutschke is a graduate student at the North Dakota State University where she is pursuing her Master of Business Administration. Casondra was active throughout high school in activities including FBLA, band, speech, and yearbook. She continued her FBLA-PBL journey in college and got involved in numerous honor societies and the NDSU College of Business Strategic Planning Committee and Advisory Board. She graduated summa cum laudefrom NDSU in May 2018 with her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and Management with a minor in economics. She currently works as an Administrative Assistant at a local non-profit organization, American Gold Gymnastics, and hopes to someday have a career in non-profit management. 

 

I joined FBLA as a freshman, but I had no idea what a great experience it would be and how it would help me grow as an individual.  FBLA allowed me to travel across the nation and meet many fantastic new people. In 2012, I placed 3rdin Business Math at the State Leadership Conference which gave me the opportunity to travel to San Antonio, Texas, and to represent my school and state while competing at the National Leadership Conference.  That conference was the realbeginning of my FBLA-PBL involvement.  I came home with a new interest in the business field and a desire to become more involved in my local and state FBLA chapters.  FBLA gave me the opportunity to travel across the nation to four National Leadership Conferences while forming friendships with people from across the country and learning public speaking skills, responsibility, and leadership skills that I have implemented in all areas of my life.

 

When I came to college at the North Dakota State University, I was forced to leave FBLA-PBL as we did not have a PBL chapter.  After taking a year off from FBLA-PBL, I knew that this organization would be an excellentopportunity to supplement students’ class work, and I took it upon myself to reactivate the NDSU Chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, and the NDSU Student Government officially recognized uson October 12, 2016.  I now serve as the NDSU PBL Chapter President and grew the chapter to include thirteen paid and active members in only four months.  With my position, I lead executive and chaptermeetings, assist in organizing chapter activities such as speakers, service projects, and team building activities, and focus on recruitment.  

 

After diving back into FBLA-PBL, I was ready to join the State Officer Team.  At our State Leadership Conference in March 2017, I was elected to the position of State Vice President of Public Relations and was later appointedState President.

                                                                    

Having the opportunity to start this organization has allowed me to help others become better leaders and better officers.  I think one of the most important aspects of being a goodofficer, whether it’s atthe local, state, or national level, is being able to connect with others.  When you can tell someone why you love PBL, your passion is contagious.  It’s often hard to explain what Phi Beta Lambda is without someone’s first questions being, “So is that a fraternity/sorority?”, but being able to share your love and passion for the organization is key.

 

As with all leadership positions, time management is vital. There are times before a big conference or another eventthat it seems like you have a lot on your plate—and with school, work, community service projects, and extracurricular activities, you probably do—but that’s what makes it exciting and worthwhile.  It may be stressful at times, but it gives you the opportunity to practice prioritizing your tasks.  It doesn’t have to be busy or stressful, but the more you give the organization,the more you get back.  

 

I have found that delegating tasks can be challenging, especially if you’re one that likes to take charge, but the ability to delegatecontributes to the success of a leader and empowers other members of your team.  Do you have someone on your teamthat is great at graphic design?  Ask them if they want to design your membership poster!  Don’t waste your time doing something you aren’t very good at when you have skilled and talented people on your team waiting to help you. Utilize your team’s strengths and abilities to the organization’s advantage.

 

Finally, just have fun: play silly icebreakers, make memories, meet new people, laugh at lame jokes, form lasting friendships—that’s what being a part of PBL is really about. It’s not about the extra line on your resume, but it’s about what you take out of it.  The lasting memories, friends, skills make it all mean something. But don’t forget to thank them. Thank the people who helped you become a better officer and leader.  Thank your fellow officers, your members, your advisers, professors, university staff, everyone who made this experience possible.

 

My experience with PBL was a bit unique, but it is one I will never forget. The opportunity to start a student organization and grow it to something so impactful in the NDSU College of Business coupled with the opportunities I have had to meet new students and business professionals is one that has changed my life,and I will be forever thankful to this organization.  

What FBLA Teaches that School Doesn’t: Networking

We have all been in this situation — you sit in your chair, unable to stand up or make eye contact with anyone besides the handful of friends around you. You are in the middle of an FBLA conference, a hub that fosters great opportunities to learn, communicate, and build bonds with other fellow members. However, anxiety and inexperience has gotten the best of you, and you wait till the next event is announced, till someone approaches you, till you are given instructions.


Obviously this scenario doesn’t apply to all of us, but such fears are generally experienced by members, especially during the first several conferences they attend. These situations allow FBLA members to adapt and develop the sacred skill of networking.


Schools assume that students will go out into the world and figure out how to network themselves, but mastering this skill takes time. While regular high school students still have years to experience such professional environments, FBLA members have the convenience of starting from freshman year. The learning curve of networking will already be surpassed by most FBLA members by the time they transition to college. But why does this matter?


Networking is arguably the most important skill for any profession. According to a study, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. The greater your social network is, the higher chance you have of success in career and life.


Links that are made in FBLA can flourish into long-term bonds of friendship, cooperation, and guidance. Because the reality is that we will all go our separate paths and discover our own unique passions. Specialization makes us all stronger when we can cover each other’s strengths and weaknesses in time of need.  



The Truth of College

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It’s midnight. You gave up on deducing how much hours of sleep you’re settling for. With a full paper to finish and three exams to study for, you start questioning if it’s even worth it. Yet a little string of hope pushes you to finish. You finish the work by 4 a.m. and you crash into bed for a brief “nap”, dreaming about walking through the Harvard campus, laughing and smiling at the old high school days.

Whether with apprehension or excitement, most high school kids start to progressively acknowledge the umbrage of College. They reason that College is the gateway to adulthood life and should be treated as such. Most start picking up the slack by Junior year, joining sports teams, taking on harder classes, and committing to jobs. The more ambitious students have started way earlier in Freshman year; by Junior year they are already leading sports teams and clubs, ranking above their classmates, excelling at standardized tests, and stacking up impressive community service hours. That should do for a solid resume.


This same solid resume would get a solid rejection from prestigious Universities that some of us dream about. At that level, there needs to be contrast of the thousands of applications sent each year, all with the same academic, standardized, and extracurricular achievements. So how do we make ourselves stand out? The answer is simple: literally stand out.


We all have passions that exist deep in our heart that we might not even know to pursue due to our self-imposed educational workload. I feel like there is excessively more focus on what we can do as students over what we can do as leaders, visionaries, and creators. The reality is that students who dread over high school with unreasonable academic expectations get rejected over others with average grades but unique commitments.

I recently met a Senior in my school who got accepted into Princeton University. “What do you think made you stand out?” I asked. Her reply was “Oh, you know, I’m just a world champion at fencing”. I assumed she must’ve also excelled in academics which is why I was shocked when she couldn’t remember her exact rank “it’s about 100 something or so”. The moral of the story is that Colleges love passion and you should take advantage of it. When you do what you really love, you excel at it naturally because you are willing to put in blood, sweat, and tears into that craft.

FBLA can help you find that craft and turn it into reality. If you are a driven individual, you will find success and you will create a name for yourself. Whether it’s through devoted membership, competitive events, or leadership, you have the opportunity to develop your own unique interests and put them into practice. It’s never too late to start following (or finding) your dream, and why not do it with FBLA?



Top 10 Things To Do In Charlotte For NFLC

Every city has something to offer, but Charlotte, the host city of one of the three 2018 National Fall Leadership Conferences, has much more to offer than meets the eye! Whether you’re looking for aviation, whitewater rapids, or a quiet day at the park, Charlotte’s got something for you to enjoy!



1. NASCAR Hall of Fame

Like fast cars and a little history lesson? The NASCAR Hall of Fame is the place for you! This key Charlotte attraction offers plenty of exhibits showcasing the history of NASCAR and a behind the scenes look at what it takes to perform in a NASCAR race! Admission to the NASCAR Hall of Fame is $25 (including tax).


2. Carolinas Aviation Museum

The Carolinas Aviation Museum is located on the southeast corner of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, offering patrons an inside look at a variety of aircraft like Flight 1549, otherwise known as the Miracle on the Hudson. This museum houses aircraft dating back to the early 1900s like warplanes and the first viable passenger airliner, the Piedmont DC-3. Cost of admission is $12 per person.

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3. Holiday On Ice Charlotte

Holiday On Ice Charlotte is a skating rink centrally located Uptown in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza every holiday season. If you and your fellow attendees want to let out some of that conference stress, this is the perfect place to skate it away! Admission is $16 including the price of skates (in all sizes, we might add), but on the off chance you brought ice skates to the conference, it’s $12.


4. Wells Fargo History Museum

This one’s for all the finance gurus that call FBLA home! The Wells Fargo History Museum, conveniently located just blocks from the Westin, offers an inside look to the history of the Wells Fargo company, the roots of the bank, and the equipment used like telegraphs and the classic stagecoach. Lucky for our attendees, admission to the Wells Fargo History Museum is free!

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5. Levine Museum of the New South

The Museum of the New South offers thought-provoking ideas and a history lesson on how Charlotte was built from the ground up. The Museum provides insight to the contribution of race, religion, and culture of the Southern United States throughout the centuries that molded Charlotte into the bustling city it currently is today. Admission is $6 for those 18 or under, and $10 for adults.


6. Mint Museum Uptown

Modern art and expression is a common theme at the Mint Museum Uptown, where exhibits allow your mind to roam free with their interpretive designs. Cultural exhibits showcase the effect of foreign arts on American style, and pottery and porcelain in the Portals to the Past exhibit are sure to put some color in your day! Admission to the museum is $6 for those 17 and under, and $15 for adults 18 or over.


7. 7th Street Public Market

This market located, you guessed it, on 7th Street in Uptown, houses eateries and coffee shops like Hazelnut’s Créperie, Not Just Coffee, and PurePizza! The 7th Street Public Market has a plethora of options for you to stop in and try, so we don’t want you to miss out!


8. Charlotte Motor Speedway

The Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 2.4 mile long loop that NASCAR utilizes for the classic races that the city of NASCAR loves to enjoy. Located just 16 miles from Uptown, the seasonal Christmas lights, which begin on November 18, are sure to impress!

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9. Carowinds

Carowinds is Charlotte’s premier amusement and water park, featuring plenty of roller coasters, thrill rides, shows, and special events. And, if you decide to drop in past November 18, you can see the WinterFest displays, featuring bright lights and shows you’ll never forget.

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10. UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

For a peaceful stroll among the greenery of Charlotte, pay a visit to the University of North Carolina Charlotte Botanical Gardens! The Gardens offer multiple walking paths and indoor exhibits, like the Orchid Room, Dinosaur Room, and the Desert Room!

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If you happen to stop by some of these attractions, be sure to use the hashtag #NFLC18 on your posts! Also, be sure to complete the scavenger hunt activities for Charlotte, because some places you have to visit are on this list! The Social Media Ambassador team wishes the best of luck to everyone visiting Charlotte for the 2018 National Fall Leadership Conference!













Top 5 Places To Eat In Charlotte

Charlotte, the Queen City, is hosting the 2018 NFLC from November 16-17. Those who attend NFLC in Charlotte can expect a beautiful city flaunting Southern charm and diversity at every turn. Charlotte also boasts something else we all love: good food! Charlotte is home to a variety of cuisines; from pasta to paninis, these are the top five places you can grab a bite to eat in the Queen City of Charlotte.



1. Grab A Pizza (Giant Scissors Included)

Stagioni is located roughly a mile outside of Charlotte’s inner circle, boasting Italian cuisine with a modern twist. The Charlotte Agenda labeled Stagioni #3 on it’s Top 50 Restaurants In Charlotte for its acclaimed Pepperoni & Sausage pizza. And, in addition to your tasty pie, you get a giant pair of scissors to cut your pizza however you’d like. The pizza is moderately priced around $16, but the pasta and other main course items run slightly high, around $30.

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2. Catch A Coffee & Macarons

Amélie’s French Bakery & Cafe is a Charlotte staple located just a block from the Westin, known for their picturesque cuisine and colorful macarons that are pleasing to the aesthetic. Amélie’s location in the Uptown area is the largest, housing it’s production kitchen, so you can be sure whatever you decide to munch on, it’ll be the best of the best. Another interesting fact that you might not notice about the building is that its located inside of a renovated parking garage! The good food, fresh quality, and charming sense of style is sure to please!

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3. Chow Down On A Crȇpe

Found inside the 7th Street Public Market on the Charlotte Rail Trail, Hazelnut’s Crȇperie is a homegrown Charlotte classic known for its legendary crȇpes. Whether you’re visiting for breakfast or dinner, Hazelnut’s has something on their menu to satisfy your cravings. They truly have something for everyone, offering vegetarian and gluten-free options, or a super sweet treat like S’mores a la Mode! With this location’s bright, airy ambience and flavorful cuisine, it’s one thing you just can’t miss out on.

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4. Have A Lunch At The Hibachi

Located a block from the Westin, Red Ginger Japanese Steakhouse offers authentic Japanese cuisine with a show! Patrons at Red Ginger can expect to see a fiesty show by Hibachi chefs to prepare your dinner right before your eyes. The menu has a great variety of rolls and sushi to satisfy everyone’s finest desires!


5. Chicago Meets Charlotte

Want a taste of Chicago without going the distance? Have an authentic Chicago dog on The Green at Matt’s Chicago Dog! But the options don’t end there! You can get a variety of burgers and sandwiches on top of the endless selection of toppings for whatever you decide. It’s only a short walk from the Westin, and online ordering is available through their website for the added convenience.

Find yourself munching on the Charlotte delicacies? Then make sure to post a photo on social media with #NFLC18! The Social Media Ambassador team hopes you have a great time exploring the Queen City and creating, leading, and inspiring at NFLC in Charlotte!



How FBLA Celebrates Prematurity Awareness Month

Article by Jackson Olmstead and Matthew Werneken with contributions from Hannah Ness, Ethan Ghozali, Amber Fenimore, and Emily Remer.

Premature births and the resulting complications are the #1 cause of death in infants in the United States, and even those who survive have chronic health issues and birth defects. Future Business Leaders of America, along with our national service partner, the March of Dimes, are making strides to change that statistic.

As part of The Prematurity Campaign established by the March of Dimes in 2003, November has long been recognized as Prematurity Awareness Month. Prematurity Awareness Month is celebrated by FBLA chapters across the nation and in foreign countries. Members everywhere are encouraged to spread the March of Dimes mission and raise money to donate to help prevent prematurity and birth defects, which is an impact that will be felt in generations to come.

This November, chapters around the globe are planning and executing their March of Dimes activities. From coast-to-coast, this is what FBLA is doing to celebrate Prematurity Awareness Month and spread the mission of the March of Dimes:


“Portage FBLA celebrates Prematurity Awareness Month each year by involving the community and members.  Local officers host a Miracle Moment and hand out purple ribbons at a local sporting event to support the March of Dimes.  Portage FBLA members use Snapchat to participate in a competitive scavenger hunt, which shares information and spreads awareness about the March of Dimes.”

-Hannah Ness, Wisconsin, Portage High School, State Secretary/Treasurer & Chapter Vice President


“This year at Palm Harbor University High School in Florida, our 170 Member FBLA chapter is becoming involved with March of Dimes for the first time! Our plans are to color the school purple with lights, decorations, and fliers promoting Prematurity Awareness Month. We also hope to organize an informational rally on the last day of November in which students will walk out of class 5-7 minutes “prematurely”. Finally, we are reaching out to other nearby chapters to work on a district wide event.”

-Ethan Ghozali, Florida, Palm Harbor University High School, March of Dimes Director on FBLA Parliamentarian’s Council & Chapter President


“Northside and Sipsey Valley competed not only on the football field, but also to see who can raise the most money for March of Dimes. Throughout the game, both chapters sold tickets for $1, and after half time, one person was drawn to receive half of the money that was raised that night. Donating the other half to March of Dimes, Northside High School FBLA raised over $300 and Sipsey Valley High School FBLA raised $62!“

-Amber Fenimore, Alabama, Northside High School, State District 2 Vice President


“At Yorba Linda, Prematurity Awareness Month and the March of Dimes have taught us not only the importance of the cause itself but also how we can help. This year, we plan to further our contribution by making and wearing March of Dimes shirts to raise awareness, as well as telling our members about the importance of the cause. Furthermore, we are planning to participate in coin-raising by collecting coins across our school to fundraise for March of Dimes.”

-Emily Remer, California, Yorba Linda High School, State Southern Section Co-Vice President


Let’s Start Fundraising!

One of the most important things to raise funding to help end prematurity through March of Dimes is forming a March of Dimes and/or Fundraising Committee on the local level. This set committee can take input from your chapter’s members and work on fundraising for March of Dimes, not just in November, but year-round!

Some ways your chapter may try to promote the March of Dimes mission is to do a school-wide fundraiser with March of Dimes coin-boxes, going from class to class and seeing which class can raise the most money, then promise the winners some type of award! Your chapter can also try having a March of Dimes representative speak to your FBLA members during a meeting or as part of a special event.

No matter what your chapter decides to do, having a good base to work from is key! Work with a central group and ask businesses for a donation on behalf of your school, or try asking to put donation boxes for March of Dimes near their points-of-sale to encourage those who get loose change to put that towards a wonderful and much-needed cause.


Don’t Be Afraid To Get Help

If all else fails, reach out to other chapters near you, or reach out to a state officer! It can be tough to form plans about March of Dimes fundraising, and sometimes it takes just a little bit of help from other areas other than your chapter; never be afraid to ask for assistance! You can find more helpful information below with a special message from Ethan Ghozali, the March of Dimes Director on the National Parliamentarian Council, or on the FBLA-PBL website at www.fbla-pbl.org/cmh/fundraising-ideas/.


Special Message From March of Dimes Director on National Parliamentarian Council

“My name is Ethan Ghozali and I currently serve as a March of Dimes Director on the National Parliamentarian’s Council. I’d like to thank all of the FBLA members across the nation who are already supporting the cause through raising money and awareness for our National Service Partner, March of Dimes.

If your chapter has not yet become involved, then this year is the perfect opportunity to get started! There is still time to participate in Prematurity Awareness Month (a Non-Stop November requirement) and possibly receive national recognition. You can register for a toolkit at bit.ly/fblapam and learn more about what March of Dimes has to offer at www.fbla-pbl.org/partner/march-of-dimes. You can also stay up to date by following Parliamentarian Michael Zhao or any of his council members on Instagram. Together we can work to help all moms and babies!”



















How to Rock the FBLA NFLC Scavenger Hunt

The National Fall Leadership Conference is a great experience where you can sharpen your networking skills, learn something new in workshops, and have a ton of fun exploring the general area. Whether you’re in Chicago, Albuquerque, or in Charlotte you are destined to have a time of your life. Why not elevate your experience even further? Introducing the Scavenger Hunt, a fun and engaging way to capture your cherishing moments while also being recognized for it in the process.

The Essence of the Scavenger Hunt

It’s simple, take 15 pictures of specific events, submit it, boom – you’re done! In reality, it’s a lot more than that. In the process you have plentiful opportunities of networking with FBLA members, officers, and workshop leaders who you probably would have never approached on your own. You get to explore the fascinating city outside of the conference and visit the most prominent areas. In a fun and competitive way, you are given a flexible guide on your NFLC journey. The first five competitors to turn in the full scavenger hunt list through the FBLA App are recognized at the closing session.

So What Exactly Do I Have to Do?

Depending on where you attend your National Fall Leadership Conference, tasks that you do slightly vary. For example, for the Albuquerque NFLC the Scavenger Hunt entails taking a picture during the workshop “Get Them on the Stage”, during a stroll down Central Avenue, and during a visit to the Spaceship House, all events and places that are not found at neither Chicago nor Charlotte NFLC. However, other tasks apply to all the conferences such as taking a fun picture with a National Officer or playing rock-paper-scissors with members from other states. For the last task you are given the freedom to be creative and post your favorite memory of the conference with #foundatNFLC. The full list of the Scavenger Hunt hosted in your conference can be found on the FBLA-PBL app under its respective guide.





Full Scavenger Hunt Lists:

Albuquerque

1. Post your best Opening Session Selfie and tag @fbla_pbl

2. Take a group picture with your chapter inside the conference center.

3. Find a state officer who is not from your state (introduce yourself and shake their hand) and take a picture with them.

4. Take a picture at the workshop “Above All, Act with Integrity”

5. Meet a new chapter from a different state

6. Find a National Officer and take a fun picture with them!

7. Take a picture at the workshop “Get Them to the Stage”.

8. Get the autograph of the workshop leaders from “Servant Leadership”

9. Stroll down famous Central Avenue and snap a few pictures with your friends!

10. Ever wanted to go to space? Check out the Spaceship House!

11. Take a picture with members from two other states.

12. Attend a Foundations workshop and take a picture of the presenter.

13. Play rock-paper-scissors with a member from a different state. Submit a photo.

14. Take a picture with a member from another state (cannot be the same member as in the previous activity) at a photo booth area.

15. Post your favorite memory of the Albuquerque NFLC before closing session and tag @FBLA –PBL and use the hashtag #foundatNFLC!

Charlotte

1. Post your best Opening Session Selfie and tag @fbla_pbl

2. Take a group picture with your chapter inside the conference center.

3. Find a state officer who is not from your state (introduce yourself and shake their

hand) and take a picture with them.

4. Take a picture at the workshop “Tips for Finding the University for You”

5. Meet a new chapter from a different state

6. Find a National Officer and take a fun picture with them!

7. Take a picture at the workshop “Underground Secrets at Work”.

8. Get the autograph of the workshop leaders from “Level Up!”

9. Check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame!

10. Take a stroll in Freedom Park. Feel liberated yet?

11. Take a picture with members from two other states.

12. Attend a Foundations workshop and take a picture of the presenter.

13. Play rock-paper-scissors with a member from a different state. Submit a photo.

14. Take a picture with a member from another state (cannot be the same member as in the previous activity) at a photo booth area.

15. Post your favorite memory of the Albuquerque NFLC before closing session and tag @FBLA –PBL and use the hashtag #foundatNFLC!

Top 10 Things To Do in Albuquerque

Can’t think of anything to do while you’re in Albuquerque for NFLC 2019 from November 9-10? Think again!  Located in the heart of New Mexico, Albuquerque is an oasis in the high desert, full of rich history and inspiring ideas. No matter your interests, there are countless opportunities for you to explore. We know this plethora of choices might be overwhelming in light of the conference… so your FBLA Social Media Ambassadors have compiled a list of the top attractions you don’t want to miss!



1. Ride the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway

Where’s the world’s longest tramway? If you said Albuquerque, you nailed it! Ride 2.7 miles to the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains. At the top, you’re able to see quite the view of Albuquerque - which on a clear day, can be more than 11,000 square miles of spectacular beauty. If the tramway isn’t your thing, no worries! Check out the hiking trails along the ridgeway, and enjoy the sunset with your newfound FBLA buds


2. Explore the Skies in a Hot Air Balloon

You might not know it, but as the ‘Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World,’ Albuquerque offers super air ballooning conditions year-round. Embark on a truly memorable balloon ride with a company such as World Balloon, and bond with your FBLA chapter members! As they put it, “Missing a balloon flight in Albuquerque would be like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower.” If ballooning sounds too scary, check out the Albuquerque Balloon Museum instead!


3. Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Before the Spanish conquistadors entered New Mexico, it was home to the Pueblo people. Today, the Pueblo Cultural Center preserves the culture of this indigenous group, and hosts a variety of cultural events intended to revive and strengthen Pueblo art and history. If you’re lucky, you might see the Pueblo dancers performing, or get a taste of the Pueblo Harvest Cafe, with traditional dishes.


4. Experience the Musical Highway

Have you heard of a rumble strip? Probably. Have you heard of a rumble strip that sings ‘America the Beautiful’? Probably not. If drivers cross this stretch of Route 66 at just the right speed (45 mph), the grooved lines are engineered to sound like the song ‘America the Beautiful.’ Installed in 2014 as a partnership between the NM Department of Transportation and National Geographic, the musical highway aims to encourage drivers to adhere to the speed limit while on the historic road. Ask a local about this!


5. Wander the Old Town

The Old Town is the site of the original city settlement in 1706, and for decades, have been shaped by Native American and Spanish influences alike. From the cobblestone streets and brightly colored adobe huts, to Albuquerque’s oldest building and to talented street performers, immerse yourself within the city’s central cultural identity and experience Old Town’s old-town charm.


6. Visit the Petroglyph National Monument

Did you know that in this 7,236 acre Petroglyph National Monument, there are more than 24,000 carved images left behind by New Mexico’s first settlers? Featuring numerous hiking trails allowing you to interpret these carvings yourself, the park also includes a visitor center, guided tours, and an on-site educational program offering insight into ancient rock art. Get your daily dose of scenic views and Petroglyphs today!


7. Walk the Paseo del Bosque Trail

Need some fresh air, or to get your steps in while you’re at the conference? Paseo del Bosque Trail is the spot for you! The 16-mile-long walking/biking path along the Rio Grande winds its way through central Albuquerque. Not only do you pass major historical sights such as Old Town (#5) and the ABQ BioPark (#9), and discover great public artwork/ wildlife. Even better? This path is free of charge and open 24/7 - so we’ll see you by the trees!

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8. Visit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

Diverse cultures, authentic art, and vibrant traditions have and continue to shape the centuries-old story of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Presenting more than 12 billion years of the region's history, learn about it’s origins, dinosaurs, ancient sea coasts, constellation patterns, and more at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. From walking through a *live* volcano to investigating the night sky through a tapestry equipped with UV interactive thread, come explore + discover! (or just chill at the IMAX theater).


9. Relax at the ABQ BioPark

A must see according to recent visitors, the ABQ BioPark in Albuquerque is an ideal venue for a relaxing day spent outdoors. From a 36-acre botanic garden, to an aquarium which includes a 185,000 gallon shark tank, to the zoo’s 200+ species (snow leopards or kangaroos, anyone?), this massive park contains attractions that are sure to pique your interest. Feet tired after a full day of walking at the conference? Don’t miss the zoo’s train ride!


10. Explore Albuquerque - Try to Find the Auto Hawk!

30 colorful car doors. 24 foot tall structure. One enormous, eye-catching structure of a mighty hawk’s feathers. In 2017, the city of Albuquerque commissioned this piece for $75,000 from the city’s art tax - an artists’ representation of what Alburquerque means. There’s no identifying information by the artwork… so think you can find this? Better get your exploring cap on and start searching!

If you stop by any of these attractions, snap a photo and use the conference hashtag #NFLC18 when you post on social media! Your FBLA Social Media Ambassador team wishes you a great NFLC in Albuquerque - and if you find yourself some free time during the conference, check out these not-to-miss attractions!



4 Networking Tips to Use at Your Next FBLA Conference (NFLC, Anyone?)

Now that we’re back in business with FBLA conferences, and in the midst of NFLC season, it’s more important than ever to refresh your networking skills. At any conference, remember that beyond competitive events, there are valuable opportunities to form connections with members who share similar interests or who you look up to. Try out some of the following tips at the next NFLC, and elevate your networking game!


1. Don’t hesitate to greet “social media friends” like “in-person” friends.

Is there an FBLA member whom you’ve only talked to via social media? Or someone you follow on Instagram, and feel like you’ve known forever already? Good news - regardless of how much interaction you’ve had on social media, it’s always exciting to put a name and pictures to a face! If you see an FBLA bud from across the room, give them a shout out - it’ll make them feel popular, and you can make a new *official* connection. Also, consider reaching out on social media before the conference and ask to grab coffee!

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2. Set clear goals and articulate what you’re looking for.

Before you even enter the conference (because networking can happen ANY TIME!), come up with a list of goals to help gage your networking success (e.g., meet five members from another state, learn some new chapter fundraising ideas). By being goal oriented, there is a sense of direction to your conversations. The bonus? Clear goals can also help you avoid the dread awkward silences!

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3. Find ways you can provide value.

You know why you’re in this networking zone, but do you know why your partner is in it? Each individual has their own networking goals, and it’s important to actively listen in order to figure out how you can best be of support. The best networking connections are when contacts can provide mutual value (e.g., you may share some great chapter recruitment ideas, the other person may share their experience as a chapter officer). Ultimately, you want to leave the conversation knowing both individuals took something away!


4. Follow up and be bold!

During a networking conversation, make sure to catch the person’s contact information. If you aren’t able to do so, no worries - try to find them on social media! A day or two after your conversation, follow up with a LinkedIn connection, email, or even hand-written thank you note. Show them you’re serious about your conversation and you got their back! Also, work your network. Don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction to someone else, help on building a LinkedIn profile, etc.

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All in all, remember #FBLAConnects - so make the most of these connections! Have your own networking tips to add, or a networking story to share from NFLC? Please email me, Ashley Lin, at parliamentarian@wafbla.org - we’d love to hear pieces of advice (anyone else see a feature article in the near future??)



Top 5 Places to Eat in Albuquerque

Did you miss NFLC in Chicago? Don’t sweat it - there’s another chance to represent your state at the National Fall Leadership Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico from November 9-10. Located in the heart of New Mexico, Albuquerque is a booming city of diverse cultures, authentic art, dynamic traditions, and innovative ideas. We know that sometimes in the hustle of conferences we forget to grab food… to help you maximize your time in Albuquerque, the FBLA Social Media Ambassador team has done research on some eating establishments you don’t want to miss!



1. Grab an infamous Green Chile Cheeseburger

Chiles are the backbone of New Mexican cuisine, and the Green Chile Cheeseburger from Blake’s Lotaburger certainly does not disappoint. Not only is it a stop on the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, it’s been named by National Geographic as “The World’s Best Chile Cheeseburger” - interested yet? Grab your burger while you’re in Albuquerque, and cross this off your bucket list!


2. Get rollin’ with Frontier Sweet Rolls

We all know FBLA conferences can greatly alter our eating schedules - so whether you’re hungry at 5 a.m. or 1 a.m., we’re happy to announce Frontier Restaurant has something for you! An Albuquerque tradition since 1973, they’re a culturally-infused space with all the classics, from carne adovada burritos to green chile stews. The highlight? The Frontier Sweet Rolls, a must-have for anyone craving a sweet treat. (hint: buy them in the 6-pack)

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3. Rad food from Rad[ish]

Fully prepared, healthy meals for busy people (wonder who the “busy people” are?)! Rad[ish] offers grab-n-go meals made from scratch with real ingredients - from Cauli Bowls to Chicken Bowls to Burger Bowls. Whether you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegetarian, all or none of the above, there’s something for you at Rad[ish]. Eat at the conference (cup n’ noodles does not count), and eat healthy!


4. Grab your Biscochitos!

Do you know the state bird of New Mexico? If not, it’s okay - as long as you know New Mexico’s state cookies are Biscochitos! Flaky, buttery, cinnamon-sugary… what’s not to like? Grab yours in Albuquerque from Golden Crown Panaderia, the ‘old-fashioned neighborhood bakery’ since 1972. Grab your Biscochitos in blue corn, sugar-free, chocolate, and cappuccino varieties - or if you’re not feeling biscochitos, grab some New Mexican empanadas in several fruity offerings or try the original New Mexico Green Chile Bread!

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5. Classic American breakfast & lunch

Missing the classic feel-good foods? Whether you’re looking for a salad, sandwiches, or sweet treats, the Grove Cafe & Market is your go-to location, offering not only organic and sustainable local good, but serving it in a casual and fun atmosphere. From poached eggs and avocado toast to farmers’ salads and turkey toasties, the Grove serves breakfast all day (hooray!) + lunch, and offers vegetarian options - so stop by!



If you stop by any of these attractions, snap a photo and use the conference hashtag #NFLC18 when you post on social media! Your FBLA Social Media Ambassador team wishes you a great NFLC in Albuquerque, and remember - use this handy list and make sure to get breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the conference!



5 Places to Eat at NFLC Chicago

As NFLC Chicago approaches this Friday, November 2nd, attendees will arrive from across the country, many of whom have never been to the Windy City before! To prepare you for your time in Chicago, the FBLA Social Media Ambassador team is doing the research for you to make sure you find the best experiences at the Conference. Here are some places to eat you don’t want to miss!


1. Grab an infamous Rainbow Cone

Just down the road from Hilton Chicago, where the National Fall Leadership Conference hosts FBLA members, is the original rainbow cone. A special of Chicago since 1926, this is a must-have sweet treat. The shop is open every day of the week, so you won’t have an issue finding a time to get a cone, and you can’t get this one anywhere else in America!

2. Don’t miss authentic Chicago-style pizza

If you can only get one meal at NFLC, make it pizza! Chicago is home to a unique and world-famous style of pizza, aptly named after the city itself. Chicago-style pizza is deep-dish that was born and is best made in the heart of the city. There is no shortage of pizzerias right by Hilton Chicago, with many other styles if deep-dish isn’t your thing. We recommend Aurelio’s or Lou Malnati’s for closeby locations and authentic Italian pizza.

3. Snack vegan at Lav’s Bake Bar

A lot of students today are vegan - we have you covered! Lav’s Bake Bar has some delicious snacks for on-the-go, and are sure to accommodate gluten and refined-sugar free diets, while keeping their ingredients organic. Fuller meals are offered at other nearby locations like Sweetgreen or Veggie Grill for anyone who is looking for a dinner or lunch option.

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4. Eat a Chicago Devil Dawg

Chicago isn’t just famous for the pizza! Hot dogs are another all-American tradition, and Chicago puts its own spin on the classic at Devil Dawgs. They offer just about any toppings or style you can think of, and they won’t break your bank to do it. If course, they have other options like sides, sandwiches, shakes and veggie burgers. Devil Dawgs is only a block away from the Hilton, but they also partner with services like Grubhub and Delivery.com to help you with a good meal when you can’t go out to eat.

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5. Get coffee at Peet’s

For the coffee fanatic, Peet’s Coffee has you covered. Also a short walk from the Hilton, a quick morning trip may boost your day and offer another baked treat. Peet’s is known for tea as well as coffee, and has been perfecting their craft since 1966. Other similar breakfast options include Luna Cafe or the classic East Coast Dunkin Donuts nearby.

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10 Things To Do at NFLC Chicago

With the upcoming Fall National Leadership Conference in Chicago, IL, FBLA members nationwide are looking forward to an awesome experience this weekend! For many of you, this will be a first-time trip to Chicago with lots of opportunities to explore the beautiful “Windy City”. To help you prepare to maximize your NFLC Chicago experience, the FBLA Social Media Ambassador team has compiled a list of 10 things you don’t want to miss out on in Chicago.


1. Visit the top of Chicago on the Skydeck

If you can only get to one stop on this list and really want to experience Chicago, this is the landmark to visit. With the Skydeck experience, you will be on an observation deck of the famous Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) with a view over the entire bustling city. It’s located only a minute’s walk away from Hilton Chicago, and offers one view you can’t get anywhere else in the city. There is even a viewbox where you can look straight down the side of the Willis Tower for the brave visitors!

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2. Drop by Lincoln Park Zoo (for free!)

While big cities like Chicago can eat through your spending budget quickly, Lincoln Park Zoo is a great destination for tourists as one of the last free zoos in the nation. Although Lincoln Park is about 5 miles away from Hilton Chicago, it’s well worth the drive and has many daily activities to make your visit interesting. The zoo has constantly updating exhibits, such as the newer arctic tundra or classic sahara locations.

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3. Visit Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park

Chicago’s famous Buckingham Fountain was built in 1927 and remains one of the largest in the world today. It is a true landmark of Chicago in the heart of the city, and most importantly right next to the Hilton Chicago! Grant Park, where you’ll find the Fountain, is a great place to take a walk to after a day of leadership and learning, and is conveniently one of the closest places to hang out by the Hilton where NFLC attendees stay. Not to mention the spectacular views of the downtown building skyline from right at the Buckingham Fountain base!

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4. Stop by the Chicago Bean

You haven’t been to Chicago if you haven’t been the Bean. While you’re at Buckingham Fountain, just a block away is the world-famous Chicago Bean sculpture in Millenium Park. Why is this gigantic, metallic bean famous? Don’t ask us, but it’s a must-have stop while you’re staying in the Windy City. Not to mention Millenium Park is just as close to Hilton Chicago as Grant, so you won’t need an Uber to visit this one.

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5. Learn about Chicago’s historically famous Jazz and Blues music

Chicago has been a hub for Jazz and Blues music for decades, hosting an annual Jazz Festival and many other events throughout the year. While you may not be able to visit the Chicago House of Blues this time around (or maybe you can!), the city is famous for the many musicians to be found on street corners and in restaurants and bars. You won’t be leaving Illinois without hearing some of that masterful music, and if you want to learn even more about the history and culture, the National Jazz Museum may be the place for you.

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6. Visit Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs

While baseball season is over this time of year, Wrigley Field remains a cultural icon and active throughout the year in other events like concerts. During the season, Wrigley Field tours lead tourists through the inside and outside of the famous Field. There may not be any running this November, but keep a tour or Cubs ballgame on your Chicago checklist for the future! Did you know the Chicago Cubs were World Series Champions just 2 years ago in 2016?

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7. Tour the Field Museum with the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus Rex!

If you haven’t heard of the Field Museum but enjoy science and technology, then it’s about time you did! This museum is just a 15 minute walk away from Hilton Chicago, and offers many hours of unique exhibits you won’t find anywhere else in the country. Including the world’s largest T-Rex, mummy exhibits, and cultural history from all areas of the globe, there’s no way you can run out of things to do at the Field Museum.

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8. Get to the Shedd Aquarium

If there are not aquariums in your area or you have never been to one, Shedd Aquarium is the top-of-the-line indoor aquarium that you have been waiting for. Shedd is located within walking distance from Hilton Chicago, right next to the Field Museum. They have a multitude of exhibits to be discovered, as well as shows like shark-feeding happening all day long. They are open until 5pm on weekdays and 6pm on weekends, so if you can find a few hours during the day this is certainly a place to check out!

9. Tour!

As any major city should, Chicago has no lack of tours and excursions to give you the full experience of Windy City culture. Historical tours, boat tours, and even self-guided tours are the best way to get you around to as much of the city’s landmarks as possible without having to spend hours researching by yourself. Make sure to get to the shore of Lake Michigan at one point, and then Willis Tower and a museum or two!

10. Explore Chicago’s food culture, everywhere!

Chicago is home to some of the most original food options and styles from across the globe. Famous Chicago-Style pizza or a genuine polish sausage is better had in there than anywhere else in America, and you should take advantage of that while you can! And, of course, who doesn’t love an original Chicago Rainbow Cone for after a hard day of leadership.

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How to Maximize your NFLC Experience

As the 2018 National Fall Leadership Conferences approach, Future Business Leaders nationwide are excited to learn and have an all-around amazing experience at their NFLC! To help you prepare for your upcoming Fall Leadership Conference, the Social Media Ambassador team has gotten together some of the best advice from past attendees and FBLA officers for you to maximize your time at the conference.


Mind your Mindset!

When attending a conference like NFLC in Chicago, Albuquerque or Charlotte, students can get overwhelmed or distracted by everything going on around them. Go into the Conference ready to Create, Lead and Inspire, and tackle every workshop and experience you want while you can! There’s no time to waste at an event so full of opportunities as a National Fall Leadership Conference, and no better group of leaders to experience it with than the FBLA community from across the nation. Make sure you keep in-the-know with the NFLC Guide while you’re there!

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Take Advantage of Workshops

Workshops are the best way to get all of the essential training and knowledge from the businesspeople and leadership behind FBLA and America’s successes to you. Presenters at FBLA National Fall Leadership Conferences will blow your mind with tips and advice for improving your practices. Officers behind these workshops aim to help you with your own careers, but also to help you take back ideas to your chapters and improve your FBLA community through these experiences. Make sure to always have a notebook and pen on you at NFLC to jot down the best ideas you gather, and business cards if you have them!



Networking is Your Friend

Members of FBLA are always hearing about networking and what you should do at major events like NFLC to put yourself in the best relationships for the future. But how do you network? Just talk! The more people you get in contact with, get the business card of (or hand yours to), and simply make friends with, the more people that may open up your next great opportunity! There is no shortage of impactful leaders and Future Business Leaders at these events, so take advantage and stay in contact. Even if you don’t open up an internship, you will have a much larger support base to give you ideas for your chapter and academic/business careers going forward.

NFLC may be a 2-day event, but you can make it have a lasting impact through the people you meet, and they are looking to do the same! Look for the upcoming “Networking Tips” on FBLA Connect for more ideas, help, and motivation.

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Ask Questions! Ask for Advice!
There is no better place to learn to lead than a hub of hundreds of students and leaders from across the nation. You don’t have to know someone well to ask them a question about how they run their chapter or lead in their community. Unlocking the potential of Future Business Leaders around you is what Fall Leadership Conferences are all about.

Do you want to run for a state or national officer position soon? There will be state and national FBLA officers at every NFLC to guide you along that path and give you the inside scoop on how to make a successful campaign. Want to get your chapter involved with March of Dimes or another service project? Ask about getting in contact with national MoD or service directors, or see what workshop leaders can tell you about getting an event organized in your community!

Make a Good Impression

Of course, you have to make a good impression to have a successful NFLC and pull off these tips. Dress to impress and practice business introductions and etiquette with your travel friends to be ready for any opportunity that comes your way this Fall.

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Pay Attention to Social Media!

Social media is one of the most important tools of our generation, and it’s important to stay in communication. FBLA uses Instagram and Twitter to make regular announcements through its official page and the FBLA Social Media Ambassadors each make important posts with information on NFLCs and national projects. Make sure to follow them, and pay attention to your NFLC-specific pages while you’re at the Conference. You might even find some activities you didn’t know about in the city from #NFLC while you’re there!