BPA competes at state competition


Diane Moser

Business Professionals of America is sending nine students to Nationals in Anaheim, Calif. from April 26-30. At the state competition, students participated in events such as Public Speaking, Interview Skills, Graphic Design, Small Business Management team, Business Law and Ethics, Presentation Team and more. Here at Newton High School, there are classes teaching people how business works and how it affects us all. Students who want to continue down the business path might want to join BPA.
BPA allows students to explore more business opportunities and allows them to compete in competitions all over Kansas and in real-life scenarios. You can compete in business-related events at the regional, state and national levels. Junior Anahi Sanchez is a part of BPA and she is her chapter’s Vice-President and the 2023-24 state parliamentarian. She decided to be a part of BPA because it gives her many skills that can help her prepare for the future.
“I do BPA because of the valuable experiences that it provides me. Through BPA, I have learned so many things that I would not have learned by simply going to school and it has pushed me to strengthen important skills, such as leadership and public speaking,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez imagines that the reason others join BPA is to take advantage of all the learning opportunities it provides. She said it is also a good way to experiment and decide whether a certain field interests you, since BPA offers a wide range of events, from health administration to accounting to website design.
“BPA has been one of my favorite activities to take part in. I would like to encourage anyone interested to come and join! I promise that BPA offers something that you are interested in- it has something for everybody,” Sanchez said.
Junior Adelyn Clayton, print production manager for The Newtonian, is a part of BPA and she has competed in the Small Business Management team, Interview Skills, Business Law and Ethics and Presentation Team. Last year at the 2022 State Leadership Conference, she ran for the Kansas state office. She said she had to give a speech and campaign for it. She was awarded the role of Historian. This year at the 2023 SLC, which was held in Wichita, Clayton had the opportunity to run for state office again. She campaigned and gave another speech the next day. To her surprise, she got the role of vice president.
“At the award ceremony, the last day of SLC, everyone gets to find out who the 2023-24 state officer team is. I got the role of Vice President, which was really surprising because I just was not expecting it at all. I was so happy,” Clayton said.
There are many different ways to qualify for nationals. Someone can do torch awards, which is a program within BPA that has seven different categories. If a student gets 70 points in each category, they can qualify for nationals. At SLC, they can take the BPA Kansas Merit Scholar, which is a quiz about BPA facts and its history. If the student gets a 90% or above, that is another way to qualify for nationals. At SLC, there are also a number of tests that can be taken and if the student places top ten, they then can qualify. If the student places in the top three in the events they compete in, they qualify for nationals.
“To fundraise for nationals, we sell Carriage Crossing pies, which are so good. Nationals are from April 26 through the 30. We will fly out the day before because, as a state officer, one of my duties is to be a voting delegate for nationals. I will be the head voting delegate for Kansas BPA, so I have to go to a meeting to go over my role as a head voting delegate,” Clayton said.
Jessica Crabtree, an NHS business teacher, advises BPA. When she first got here nine years ago, the club was already in place with the former teacher that was in her position. There are other business competition groups in the state though, and she didn’t switch to one of those because she felt like BPA offers a lot of options for students outside of just competition that they can do. She thinks students choose to be in BPA because nationals are always a big push for them. She thinks it’s great that students want to go to nationals and it’s a good goal to have.
“It’s a great resume builder for students that need that or want that because the different competitions and activities that we go to, they can add that to their resume and then it gives people like another achievement that they can do like as far as athletics and academics go, it’s just another pillar that they can add on to having achievements in,” Crabtree said.