EHS FBLA students put lessons to use in community

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Future Business Leaders of America at Elizabethton High School are learning what it takes to be community leaders.
To put their lessons into action, they are starting by getting involved in their own school community first.
Each year, the EHS FBLA participated in numerous in-school and community wide projects to help out with those in need, contribute to fundraisers or show their appreciation for those who work hard each day.
“We have done what feels like a million different things since June,” said FBLA advisor Robin McKamey. “They have really gone above and beyond this year.”
While the club works on different projects throughout the year, their energies are now being focused on an upcoming project for the Carter County Relay for Life.
FBLA reporter Kaelyn Bishop said the event, which is scheduled for April 24, is also open to the community.
During the fundraiser, EHS students can make a donation to the Relay for Life to get to spend time outside of the classroom while walking around the school track for the Relay for Life. EHS’s different clubs will also have activities set up for participants to take part in. Interested individuals in the community can give a $5 donation to be a part of the day.
“There will also be a guest speaker that will come in,” Bishop said. “We want to be able to raise what money we can to help the Relay for Life. There is a lot of preparation that is going into this.”
The club has already completed several community service awareness projects.
In November, they recognized Prematurity Awareness Day by having a speaker from the March of Dimes visit the school to speak about the importance of prenatal and newborn health care. As an ongoing project, they collect change in baby bottles to donate to the March of Dimes.
Other ongoing projects for the FBLA include collecting drink can tabs for the Ronald McDonald house, collecting supplies and volunteering for the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter and Assistance Resource Ministries and collecting hygiene items for the Change is Possible domestic violence shelter.
Their focus isn’t just centered on the community outside their school. The FBLA conducts several projects in EHS or to benefit other schools in the county.
The club maintains a clothing closet that houses donated items that are then distributed to other students who need them. The FBLA hosts a peer tutoring group for other EHS special education students. They also collect and sort food to be distributed through the backpack food program that provides food for children in need.
The FBLA collects and distributes appreciation baskets for the EHS custodians, bakes treats for teachers and helps maintain the girls’ restrooms in the school by providing soaps and other needs.
McKamey said the projects are a part of the mission of the FBLA.
“It teaches the students to give back to the community,” she said. “The FBLA is not just about developing leadership skills. Giving back is a huge part of who we are.”

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