By Darcy Phillips, Special To The Tribune
LEEDS – Last week, Darcy Phillips and three other Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) senior members attended the FBLA Fall Leadership Conference (FLC) in Orlando, Florida, chaperoned by Leeds High School College and Career Coach Catrice Thomas.
Phillips is a Leeds High School senior and member of the FBLA organization at her school, among other accolades. She is also a 2022-2023 Intern with Everyone Leeds.
This conference was split into two days. The first day included a motivational speaker and a specific track meant to help improve the skills of FBLA members.
“We chose to participate in the Leadership track, learning how to organize volunteer projects, how to work and communicate with others, and the qualities needed for a successful leader in all areas of life, not just the work field,” Phillips said. “With 23 different states having members in attendance, we were able to meet kids our age from all over the country, including Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, and more, with whom we will now keep in contact with and hope to see at other FBLA functions.”
The second day of the conference was filled with workshops led by successful businesses like Men’s Warehouse and volunteer organizations like Lead4Change, which provided opportunities to earn money for their chapter and learn helpful tips and tricks for their careers.
“The FLC conference has helped prepare us for the business world but also how to lead successful and meaningful lives on the daily,” Phillips said.
However, they didn’t just attend the conference while they were in Orlando; they also went to Universal, which Phillips explained was her favorite part of the trip.
“This was my first time going to Universal, and to say the least, it was awesome,” Phillips said. “All of the rides and roller coasters representing movies that I have grown up watching and loving, meeting characters like SpongeBob and Patrick, and visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, gave me the opportunity to really treat this trip like a vacation with my best friends.
“We drank butterbeer, bought wands, experiencing all the magic the park had to offer. We were able to watch shows and parades, but the best part for me was being able to do something that I have never done before and create lasting memories with people who I’ve grown up with.”
Another night, they went to Disney Springs and ate dinner at The House of Blues, later going shopping at one of only five M&M stores in the world.
“Though the hustle and bustle of the crowd were sometimes chaotic, being able to see parts of Disney as well as participating in all of Universal was a chance of a lifetime, one that we got to have because of FBLA,” Phillips said. “I know that I will always remember the lessons that I learned from the conference and the laughter and excitement of Universal. Trips like these make the anxiety of high school worth it.”