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‘We are future business leaders’

MURFREESBORO—In a back room before the installation ceremony, the 21 students that would become the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter at Hertford County Middle School (HCMS) anxiously waited for the festivities to begin.

There was loud chatter, fumbling with dress ties, but as the students took to the cafeteria for the ceremony everything about the group’s manner said, “We are future business leaders.”

Recently, students, school officials, business leaders, parents and even a special guest athlete gathered to take part in the historic event that activated the first FBLA chapter at the school, the second of its kind in the school system. Hertford County High School also has a FBLA chapter.

“I believe it will enhance the overall person of the students,” said FBLA Adviser Brunet Parker about her hope for the program.

Setting up a FBLA chapter at the school began during the summer when Parker approached HCMS Principal Carson Watford with the idea.

After receiving the support from the administration, Parker made the student body aware by advertising with posters and announcements.

Along with Parker, Adviser Elola Moore will also help lead HCMS’s FBLA chapter.

FBLA is a nationwide organization that boasts a 250,000 student membership. The mission of FBLA is to help build and sustain Business Education programs in order to serve communities, state and nation.

According to Parker, the organization will help prepare the middle school students for high school and, more importantly, the real world.

Parker said the students will learn a number of different aspects, including FBLA’s Creed, creating a resume, public speaking and how to be successful in a job interview.

The students will have a chance to put those skills to the test at local, regional and national competition.

Local sponsors showed their support during the installation ceremony as the chapter collected $1,025 in donations.

Part of the money raised will go toward paying for the chapter’s first regional competition at Washington High School in Washington, NC on January 31, 2009.

Before the students were formally inducted into FBLA, school officials gave their well wishes.

Watford congratulated the students “taking on the task of starting a new club” at the school. He added this first event was certainly a highlight for a number of the participants.

Hertford County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Debbie Harris Rollins also gave her thoughts on the happy occasion.

“I would like to say welcome and congratulations to the students, we are very proud of you,” she said. “Parents this is our future.”

Hertford County Board of Education Chair John Horton also gave his thoughts about the new organization.

“I’m so impressed with the way you’re now conducting yourselves,” he said. “You’re going to be somebody’s president.”

During the induction ceremonies, the 10 FBLA officers lit candles to signify accepting their role with the chapter.

Those officers include: President Cameron Hall, Vice President Brandon Staton, Secretary Travis Sykes, Assistant Secretary Doneisha Bishop, Parliamentarian Dwayne Bishop Jr., Treasurer Brandon White, Assistant Treasurer Andria Boone, Reporter Jannah Watford, Historian Bracy Davenport and Assistant Historian Desmond Gatling.

Other FBLA members include: Baylee Baugham, Sage Foster, Ray’Quan Horton, Brittany Harmon, Germaine Jordan, Jessica Powell, Jasmine Vann, Talisha White, Erik Williams, Shakira Williams and Marcus Williams.

Chicago White Sox minor league baseball player Dexter Carter was the featured speaker of the evening.

Carter, a native of Hertford County, was involved with FBLA when he was a high school student.

Carter urged the new FBLA members to follow their dreams and not to be afraid of failure.

“Write your goal down when you get home tonight and stick to that goal and make sure you accomplish that goal,” he said. “Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t (achieve) that goal.”

He advised the students to let FBLA mold and prepare them for the future.

“Let FBLA make you the future business leaders of America,” he said.

After his speech, Carter presented each student with an autographed baseball.

In an interview with the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald following the ceremony, Carter said FBLA gave him determination and prepared him for the real world.

Carter said he hopes the students will learn to follow their dreams as a result of being involved with FBLA.

“They can do anything they put their minds to,” said Carter.

HCMS-FBLA President Cameron Hall said his ultimate goal for the chapter is to bring home a national trophy.

Hall said he hopes to be a good leader for his constituents and set a good example.

“I hope we have a good year,” he said.