Not only does the FBLA-Middle Level program provide wonderful experiences and opportunities to students, but it also prepares and enhances a student’s high school FBLA experience! FBLA-Middle Level alumni have the preparedness and knowledge it takes to advance their FBLA high school adventures and to prosper as leaders. That is exactly what ML alumn and current FBLA high school member, freshman Morgan B. from Carterville High School in Illinois, did with her ML background. Now, she is sharing her experience with us through an engaging question and answer session.
Question: How large was your FBLA-Middle Level chapter, and how large is your FBLA chapter?
Answer: There were almost thirty members in our Middle Level chapter, and there are exactly fifty members in our high school chapter.
Q: What grade did you begin participating in FBLA-Middle Level?
A: I began participating in FBLA-Middle Level in 8th grade. That was the first year our district had a Middle Level chapter, and they continued it this year.
Q: What was the most memorable part of your ML experience?
A: Getting to tag along to the area conference with the high school FBLA chapter was definitely an amazing opportunity.
Q: What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned from ML?
A: I think one of the biggest things that I took away from Middle Level was that learning to take a chance can have a great outcome. Last year was a little difficult because it was the first time that we had a chapter, but we figured it out. I’m very glad that our schools decided to offer the organization to junior high students, because I think it had a great impact on my high school FBLA experience. We didn’t get to do as much as the high school in the competitive events aspect, but it was a very good peek at what FBLA could have in store for us. Also, I learned the importance of being prepared. In my chapter, the officers led the meetings. Our adviser was a fundamental part of our chapter, of course, but she let us take control of the meetings. As I was on the officer team, I saw how much we had to plan and prepare for these meetings. It made me realize the importance of organization and being prepared.
Q: What event(s) did you compete in and how did those events prepare you for FBLA high school events?
A: Unfortunately, we did not get to actually compete in any events. We did, however, get to see what some of the ninth and tenth grade tests were like. At the end of the school year, we had the opportunity to take a few of those tests. I think that helped me prepare for the high school FBLA events a lot. It gave me an idea of what the tests were like, how they were scored, and what the testing environment is like.
Q: What was your favorite community service activity in Middle Level, and how did it help you serve your community better as an FBLA high school member?
A: We had a fundraiser for March of Dimes. Our junior high school consists of grades seven and eight, and we had a competition for which class could raise more money. There was a prize for the winning class and the donations were sent off to March of Dimes.
Q: What conferences did you attend and how did those events prepare you for FBLA?
A: Due to the fact that we were the only Middle Level chapter in our area, we didn’t have anyone else to compete against or anywhere to go together as a Middle Level chapter. However, I was an officer for our chapter, and the high school took us as guests to the area conference. This was a wonderful experience because we got to see what it was like before we actually went as freshmen. We got a taste of the elections, the speakers and a general feel for the location where the conference was held. We listened to a speaker talk about social media presence and how it can impact the way future employers perceive you.
Q: What are your aspirations for your FBLA career, and how did ML prepare you to achieve those?
A: At this moment in my FBLA career, I’m focused on learning more about the business world and exploring some parts of it through the competitive events. FBLA-Middle Level definitely helped me in being prepared for taking the test that I did this year at the area and state conferences, as well as in making me feel more confident about those two conferences because of the familiarity I felt from being around it previously.
Q: How did Middle Level help you grow your FBLA experience?
A: Freshman year is full of new and exciting things. Even though there are more opportunities for high school students in FBLA than Middle Level, I still had a good idea of what FBLA is like. Knowing about the organization beforehand was great, because I felt fine about being a part of it; it wasn’t so much of a new thing. Middle Level made it easier for me to be open to the opportunities I have in FBLA. It also allowed me to share these ideas with students my age that weren’t so familiar with the organization. I could assure them that it was a good idea to join and that the area conference had been fun even without getting to compete!
The FBLA-Middle Level program has given its alumni the opportunity to flourish in the high school FBLA environment and to develop the leadership skills needed to expand their opportunities and achieve their aspirations. Morgan is a prime example of how to make the most out of your Middle Level experience! With all of the opportunities and knowledge the Middle Level program has to offer, students in fifth through ninth grades can gain the skills they need to blossom in FBLA and prosper as leaders through a life-changing program!