BY ARIANA NAYAK
FBLA competed at the annual FBLA State Leadership Conference held over the course of three days every March in Atlantic City. The SLC allows FBLA members from all over the state to demonstrate their talents by choosing from over seventy-five competitive business events. The students representing OBHS earned numerous awards.
Junior Tamara Kasikovic who served as the State Webmaster for NJ FBLA this year and currently serves as the National Treasurer’s Council Outreach Director, was elected the new State President in Atlantic City. Kasikovic was ultimately awe-struck by the announcement. “As I took my oath on stage, I looked out to the audience, and all I could think of was ‘wow.’ When I first joined FBLA, I never thought in a million years that I would serve as a state officer, let alone a State President,” she expressed.
Kasikovic felt equally qualified for the position as her opponent but stated her aspirations and goals for the bigger picture of FBLA ultimately allowed for her win. The freshly elected State President already aspires to make the organization more efficient. “Most importantly, I am able to represent over 6,000 amazing members across the state and make sure that their needs and wants are effectively met at the state level,” Kasikovic concluded.
Conference attendees in Atlantic City elected Sophomore Anika Dugal State Vice President. Despite pure happiness due to the outcome in the end, Dugal described the experience as a bit challenging due to having to the unfamiliarity of the whole experience. “From travelling to Atlantic City and giving a speech in front of thousands of people, from undergoing an interview and running a campaign booth, the campaign process was an incredible experience that truly forced me to step out of my comfort zone. When it was announced that I had won the election, I was overcome by happiness and shock,” Dugal stated.
Dugal cannot wait to see where this position will take her, but she surely could not have gotten here alone. “I am so thankful for this experience, and also for the people who helped me get there —my friends who cheered me on and helped run my campaign; the amazing advisers at Old Bridge FBLA, Mrs. Simone and Mrs. Todaro; and my parents who supported me all the way,” she said.
Both girls did not expect to get to such a position when they first joined FBLA, demonstrating how far the organization can take students. FBLA has an ever-growing platform of hundreds of thousands of members eager to give back to the community in which they will one day lead. FBLA’s main goal is to create strong, intelligent leaders who apply their knowledge through helping others.
Milenko Miladinov, winner of the Gold Member award and top 10 finisher for E-Business with Irfan Ahmed and Arav Goyal, perfectly exemplified these goals. “I attended every meeting with full participation, and I intern for Mrs. Simone who is an advisor, so I have the opportunity to complete FBLA related tasks whenever they need to be done,” Miladinov remarked on his recognition for the award.
Mrs. Maria Simone, who advises FBLA with Mrs. Liz Todaro, expressed their pride regarding the numerous wins and high scores achieved by their students. “The students represented Old Bridge High School both personally and academically to the highest degree. Mrs. Liz Todaro and I are proud to be their advisors,” Simone said.
Posted on 4/7/22
Photos provided by Liz Todaro and Michael Allegro