The Odessa Record -

Community service project team first in the nation


--Courtesy photo.

These 25 students of Odessa High School competed at the National Leadership Conference of the Future Business Leaders of America in Baltimore, Md. at the beginning of July. Front: FBLA advisor Terri King, Megan Shafer, Destiny German, Josie Westmoreland, Ireland Luiten, Kassidy Crossley, Brenna Carstensen, Maddy Wagner, Tori Weishaar, McKennah Davison, Caitlyn Schuh, Maddie Scrupps, Kaya Curo. Back: Colton Messer, Marcus King, Jakob Starkel, Keith Strebeck, Theron Schlomer, Brady Walter, Camden Weber, Jaden Hunt, Eric Johnston, Noah Anderson, Jett Nelson, Joshua Clark, Pilot Weishaar.

Baltimore, Maryland was the destination for 25 members of Odessa High School's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter competing in the 2018 National Leadership Conference. Over 12,000 students were in attendance competing in approximately 100 events. Odessa competed in 10 events, made the finals in three of those events and placed in two.

Coming home with a first place award and competing against over 100 schools was the Community Service Project team of Kassidy Crossley, Brady Walter, Caitlyn Schuh, Jakob Starkel, Colton Messer and Kaya Curo. They presented our chapter's "Operation LEAN On US" project which focused on improving the lives of Odessa senior citizens. Our chapter cooked and delivered 553 freezer meals to Odessa seniors, helped to organize and reactivate the Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) classes for 20 weeks, provided assistance with household chores, hosted Senior Night Out events and provided $9,000 to help repair the roof on the Old Town Hall, a venue for senior meals and events.

Third-place honors went to the American Enterprise Project team of Camden Weber, Marcus King and Josie Westmoreland. These students presented their project "Retail Revolution." Members worked with the eighth grade class to study retail past, present and future. They also learned about the needs of local retailers and the challenges they face to keep their businesses running successfully in Odessa.

Making it to the top 14 for the finals with their Business Plan out of 101 teams were Eric Johnston, Pilot Weishaar, and Keith Strebeck. This team wrote and presented their business plan for Above and Beyond, a UTV guide and rental service.

Also competing was the Partnership with Business team of Brenna Carstensen, McKennah Davison, Joshua Clark and Jett Nelson who shared our chapter's partnership with the Odessa Healthcare Foundation.

The Business Financial Plan team of Tori Weishaar, Maddy Wagner and Maddie Scrupps competed with their business plan for "Fresh to You," a meal delivery service. The team wrote a 15-page business financial plan for a meal delivery service in hopes of getting a business loan to open the doors.

Josie Westmoreland competed in Client Service, a first for her and Odessa High School. She was asked to resolve a customer-service situation involving an angry client who was upset about the pesticide spraying service.

Noah Anderson, Caitlyn Schuh, Theron Schlomer, Kassidy Crossley and Brenna Carstensen submitted our 15-page Local Chapter Annual Business Report. The report summarizes all of our chapter's activities, ensuring that we have participated in the many national FBLA requirements, as well as our state and local activities.

Odessa's Business Ethics team of Jaden Hunt, Noah Anderson and Theron Schlomer researched and shared a case study involving the business ethics of Toyota and their "sticky brake" cover-up.

The team Destiny German, Megan Shafer and Ireland Luiten gave one of the cleverest and most entertaining presentations with their Broadcast Journalism presentation. After much research with Odessa High alum Brian Neale at KXLY TV and some serious video editing, the team put together a seven-minute broadcast featuring three required stories. This is a brand new event that we hope to master for the future.

In addition to 10 competitions, the Odessa FBLA Lead2Feed chairman Camden Weber, along with FBLA president Tori Weishaar, treasurer Brenna Carstensen and freshman Pilot Weishaar presented at two Lead2Feed sessions for all FBLA members and advisers.

The week in Baltimore was action packed. After spending Tuesday night stranded in the Chicago airport due to a flight cancellation, students arrived in Baltimore early Wednesday morning, without luggage, just in time to catch a bus to Washington, D.C. There, they observed a special Washington state FBLA wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery, toured the Holocaust and American History museums and took a night tour of the memorials.

The following day, members returned to D.C. by train to tour the Capitol Building, arranged by Cathy McMorris Rogers, and the Ford Theatre, where President Lincoln was shot. Students attended the opening session that night and competed all day long for the next two days. Friday night they attended an Orioles game. The last day in Baltimore, students took a water taxi to Fort McHenry for a powerful history lesson on the War of 1812 and the inspiration for the Star Spangled Banner. The water taxi then took them to Fells Point, the first harbor in the Chesapeake Bay, and then to the Baltimore Aquarium. The fresh seafood was delicious and the view of the harbor from our hotel room was breathtaking. As we reflected on our week coming home, we could not imagine packing one more adventure into our trip. It was action packed from start to finish.

--Photo courtesy of Terri King.

The nation's top team in the category of Community Service Project was recognized at the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Baltimore at the beginning of July: Odessa High School students Colton Messer, Kassidy Crossley, Brady Walter, Caitlyn Schuh, Jakob Starkel, Kaya Curo.

The generous support of Odessa's citizens has given these students the opportunity of a lifetime. They definitely came home wiser, more confident and stronger leaders because of this experience. The Odessa Alumni Association, the Stumpjumpers Motorcycle Club, High-Line Grain Growers, past FBLA national competitors and everyone who hired students to work provided the students with fundraising opportunities and meal money. The Odessa school staff, administrators and school board supplied never-ending encouragement and support for the chapter. Only in a small town could we pull off the kind of success Odessa FBLA experiences.

Our three speech coaches worked around the clock all week long. Kelly Weber used her vast knowledge and experience of the FBLA system to work tirelessly to bring out the best in every student. Danielle Scrupps shared her patience and business expertise with the chapter and served as a national judge. Chris Crossley added technology, planning and problem-solving skills. Odessa can be very proud of their 25 future business leaders and their many avid supporters!


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