Members of the Business Professionals of America (BPA) Club at Northview High School are heading to Anaheim, Calif., on April 21 to compete at the National Business Education Association Convention.
"There are definite future success stories in this group of students," BPA sponsor Beth Moody said of the upcoming trip involving Eli Ratcliff, Kyle Russell, Tommy Jenkins, Colin Beckley, Ahnya Alstott, Natasha Barnett, Cassie Webb and Shane Boyd. "Every year there has been top winners from our group because of their dedication to prepare for their event."
The eight students, who have already qualified at state competition with top honors, will be competing with other top students from across the country in various events such as computer programing, graphic design, extemporaneous speech, office skills and accounting.
"They are very excited and are still preparing for the contest," Moody said. She said that preparation is key to success for any competition. "To succeed at this level the students had to look beyond the textbook and do a tremendous amount of in-depth preparation. That level of dedication is important now and for their future success."
Students have been working on fundraisers to finance the trip.
"We are in the middle of one of our most successful fundraiser projects, the community computer classes," Moody said of the fourth year for the community classes.
The classes, which are held at Northview's four computer labs, allow the BPA members the opportunity to teach people wanting to advance their computer skills. The program, partially designed by the students, will meet the needs of a novice or help to strengthen basic skills.
"Students teach what they've learned in school, along with a few tricks they have picked up personally, to people in the community that want to know more about computers," Moody said.
Civic/service activities are a major part of the club and that the classes are also a way for the students to learn leadership skills. "It's a very personal and one-on-one way to learn about computers that both the public and students enjoy."
Another fundraiser project that provides a social activity for students and the community is the upcoming Longaberger Basket Bingo sponsored by the BPA Parents on April 28, at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Hall in Seelyville. Tickets are available at Northview for $15 for six cards for 20 games. The proceeds from this event will also be used to fund the group's trip later this month.
"BPA is a very unique club that prepares students for success in the workforce and in the business world," Moody said, explaining that she has been a part of BPA since 1988. "It has been a great opportunity to work with so many great students throughout the years."
The original organization, known then as Office Education Association, was founded as an Ohio not-for-profit corporation in 1966. The idea spread quickly throughout the nation. BPA is an incorporated state association for Indiana students.
Its major purpose then, and now, is to prepare students to have leadership skills, social awareness, and vocational competence in a business occupation while promoting civic responsibilities and personal and professional growth. By using the spirit of competition in district, state level and national competitions, the group also helps build motivation, cooperation and personal confidence.