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Business Professionals of America Club Finds Success at the Regional Competition

Caldwell High School’s Business Professionals of America club recently competed at the regional BPA contest in College Station, where they were able to see their hard work prevail. The BPA club took 19 students and finished the competition with 17 placing as either a state qualifier or state alternate. It is not often that groups with individual competitions return with such a high percentage of success. Here is what some the BPA club had to say about the hard work that led up to a victorious competition.
At the top of the list is state qualifier Isaac Salazar, placing 1st in Banking and Finance. Isaac began prepping for his category after Thanksgiving by creating fact sheets, studying, and retaking tests from past competitions. Banking and Finance consists of difficult problems surrounding managing a budget. Because of this level of difficulty, the competition allows students to bring in fact sheets containing information the student feels should be included. When asked what helped push him over the edge to 1st place, Isaac said, “I think where I probably got more right than other people was the multiple choice. I took the answers from the other tests that I got and most of them, if I figured I couldn’t memorize them, I printed out the answers on another sheet of paper that I took in. So it was just three or four or five fact sheets that are pages of information.” Also competing in Banking and Finance was state alternate Keith Ramon, placing 6th. Keith was asked about the challenges he faced in the competition and said, “The math is pretty simple. Knowing all the different type of credit and banking questions, I’d probably take more time to study.”
State qualifier Kym Le placed 2nd in her category of Intermediate Word Processing. Kym’s preparation began as soon as she joined BPA. Kym wanted different and better results than what she received last year, Kym stated, “I didn’t get to state last year because I didn’t do as much practicing as I did this year.” On top of persistently studying her material, Kym took 7 practice tests from previous year’s competitions. All of these competitions teach the student life and career skills, “I learned how to make a memorandum, how to properly write a letter and other business documents, so those will really help me in the future.” Kym said about Intermediate Word Processing.
State alternate Jeffrey Rutherford placed 3rd in his category of Prepared Speech. Students are required to select any business category to make a 5-7 minute speech. When asked about why he felt his performance led to a 3rd place victory, Jeffrey had this to say, “Our topics can be anything business related, so I did Ethnic Discrimination in the Workplace through the Hiring Process. I think my topic was part of what really got me there. The other people had done their personal experience in BPA, someone had done terrorism, someone had done market management. I feel like the top 3 of us were really the only ones that had a business related topic, so I feel like that definitely helped me”.
Among the individual categories was a group category called Administrative Support Team. Sabine Lazo, Isabel Leyva, Nolan Mott, and Christian placed 3rd landing them a state alternate spot. The Administrative Support Team competition consists of receiving a topic and then creating 5 documents, a spreadsheet, a PowerPoint, an agenda for the meeting, a memorandum and letterhead. “It was a very fun event, very challenging for sure, requires a lot of teamwork. We as a team Nolan, Christian, Isabel, and myself definitely practiced ahead of time divvying up the tasks. We did a lot of practice tests and practice tasks to figure out who was best at what. It teaches you a lot of time management, communication, and teamwork most of all.” Sabine said of her group. Also participating in the Administrative Support Team competition as a group are Jesus Torres, Jack McClosky, Keith Ramon, and Hunter Hayes. This was a much more fresh group of students that had attended the event for the first time. When asked about the challenges that were presented in their first go-round Hunter said, “I feel like we could have worked together a little more beforehand to figure out who was really going to be better and I feel like we could have studied through the different powerpoint, word, and excel longer.”
At last year’s state qualifier, Mrs. Lazo and her BPA group showed up to the event to find a big surprise. The rest of the clubs in the competition had a major fundraiser supporting Special Olympics and arrived to the event with their nicely decorated posters showing the amount they raised. To Mrs. Lazo’s dismay, she turned up to the 1st meeting of the new school year and announced they would not be showing up empty handed this year. Paige Dimon, Itziri Reyes, and Isabel Leyva took charge of the fundraiser and set an incentive to get students and teachers to donate. Nine teachers were selected to be pied and the top two names to receive the most dollars would have the honors of getting pied. Students donated to pie their favorite teachers and teachers donated in other’s names in hopes of being saved. These efforts led to the BPA collecting $500 in donations for the Special Olympics, surpassing the goal that they set.
As we shine the spotlight on BPA we would like to highlight some of the other great things the club is doing such as the Torch awards Program. This program is run through BPA and teaches the importance of service. The Torch Awards Program rewards and acknowledges the student’s outside pursuits that involve community service and leadership outside of school. Hours are logged and points are distributed and celebrated at the end of the year.
The BPA club will now head to Dallas March 3-7 for the State Leadership Contest. Qualifiers from the state contest will go on to Nationals in Washington D.C. in early May. To help BPA offset the costs of getting to state, they will be hosting a Baked Potato Meal fundraiser on February 18th. 
Back row left to right: Ethane Schulz, Nolan Mott, Grady Groves, Christian Kouatli, Paige Dimon, Jeffrey Rutherford, Hunter Haynes, Keith Ramon, Isaac Salazar, Jesus Torres
Front row left to right: Sabine Lazo, Jack McClosky, Itziri Reyes, Lizbeth Reyes, Kym Le
Regional BPA Contest Results:
Isaac Salazar-1st-Banking and Finance (SQ)
Paige Dimon- 1st-Interview Skills (SQ)
Sabine Lazo- 1st- Business Law and Ethics (SQ); Administrative Support Team- 3rd (SA)
Kym Le-2nd-Intermediate Word Processing (SQ)
Edgar Sanchez-3rd- Fundamental Desktop Publishing (SQ)
Lizbeth Ruiz-3rd- Legal Office Procedures (SQ)
Jeffrey Rutherford-3rd- Prepared Speech (SA)
Isabel Leyva-3rd- Administrative Support Team (SA)
Nolan Mott-3rd- Administrative Support Team (SA)
Christian Kouatli/Rogers-3rd- Administrative Support Team (SA)
Itziri Reyes- 4th- Legal Office Procedures (SQ)
Grady Groves- 5th- Business Law and Ethics (SA)
Melodie Parker- 5th-Basic Office Systems and Procedures (SA)
Allyson McDonald-5th- Administrative Support Team (SA)
Aalayiah Jones-5th- Administrative Support Team (SA)
Jesus Torres-6th- Medical Office Procedures (SA)
Keith Ramon-6th- Banking and Finance (SA)
Special Olympics donation poster