Building Your Network Circle

Building Your Network Circle

by Noah Cox, Executive Vice-President

High School. It’s an important time in your life. Here, you begin to pick the career route that will impact the rest of your life, learn many lifelong lessons, and lay the foundation for most of your adult life. So, while everyone has been telling you to start looking at colleges, practice for the SAT and get good grades, how many people have been telling you to build your networking circle? Probably not many. Yet, starting networking now may be one of the biggest ways you can get a leg up and succeed in the modern working world.

There’s an age-old phrase: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And according to recent studies, this couldn't be more accurate in today’s professional world. According to a 2016 LinkedIn study, eighty-five percent (85%) of all jobs are filled through some form of networking or another. In other words, networking is the core of success in any person’s career and can work as a great foundation to help anyone get an edge, even as early as high school. Networking in a high school setting is crucial as well.  Letters of recommendation, sports scholarships, and college admissions are all great examples of where having a networking circle can help you get that competitive standing in the college admissions process.

Here are some great first steps to help you get a competitive edge: first, get a LinkedIn account. 51% of professionals don’t even have a LinkedIn account. By getting one when you’re only in high school you demonstrate matureness and professionalism to potential places you might want to intern or work at while in high school. In addition, LinkedIn offers pamphlets that teach young adults the power of building a great LinkedIn profile and how to network properly. Second, reach out to your teachers/professionals and start asking who is willing to write you a letter of recommendation. Strong, descriptive letters of recommendation are one of the biggest advantages you can have going into the college admissions process. And having teachers that are informed and educated on your passions and accomplishments can make the difference between a good letter and a great letter. Additionally, getting to know your teachers or whomever you may have written your letter can help you build a portfolio of people in your networking circle that may be able to help you out in the future. Third, reach out to colleges and demonstrate an interest in their school and get to know people at the college. Many colleges today take demonstrated interest into consideration when admitting their students. Demonstrating interest in addition to talking with college admissions reps about tips and trick can help you get an important step up in the college admissions process. Additionally, getting to know admission staff on the inside of colleges allows you to get more detailed inside information on each college’s admissions process, along with what scholarships are available to help make college more affordable. Finally, go to the legacy launchers at BPA FLC and SLC. These workshops are designed to give you the skills necessary to succeed in tomorrow's workforce. These workshops can teach you a lot and are often taught by professionals who bring decades of networking knowledge to the table for you to learn. Plus, you have the opportunity to network with industry professionals and other BPA members. These networking opportunities at the legacy launchers at FLC and SLC could range from talking to business leaders about internship opportunities, to talking to colleges about business programs to business camps, and even other members of Michigan BPA just to see what other members are like. But they all have one benefit: to allow you to leverage the community of business professionals/aspiring business professionals for you to achieve or have available to you the maximum number of opportunities possible.  

Networking is the foundation of today’s business society. Anyone who wishes to do succeed in business today will need to know networking skills in order to succeed tomorrow.

Maurice S. Henderson
Honoring Our Veterans

Since Veterans Day is Sunday, November 11, with official observance on Monday, November 12, local chapters can and should take advantage of the resources around them.

Wreaths Across America

To give a brief overview of the state service project, Michigan BPA teamed up with a national organization called “Wreaths Across America” to recognize the work of deceased veterans by volunteering at wreath-laying ceremonies across the state this holiday season.

To get involved, your students will need to locate a nearby participating cemetery here. Afterward, they can sign up here by clicking the menu on the top-right side of the screen and filling out the “volunteer to” form. Upon the completion of the form, “Wreaths Across America” will contact you about the opportunities in your area.

This year, the statewide wreath laying ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 15. Even if your chapter is unable to participate on this date, it can still fundraise or volunteer at any other veterans facility. We are not limiting the project to one organization this year, so anything from veterans home to VA hospital will count towards your chapter’s State Service Project hours. The raised funds should be mailed to the state office (208 King Hall, Ypsilanti, MI 48197), which will be presented to “Wreaths Across America” as a donation at the state leadership conference. It is important to keep a record of volunteer hours and fundraised amounts, for your chapter can apply for the State Service Project Award.

Chapter members will need to go to the links above and sign up to volunteer. The program is already set up for our members to simply volunteer on December 15 and other dates.

More information on Wreaths Across America:
Deb Rakoczy,

Great Lakes National Cemetery

Great Lakes National Cemetery is holding a Veterans Day ceremony on November 11. Located in Holly, Michigan, the cemetery is looking for volunteers to set up the stage and assist the attendees. Simply contact the cemetery asking about volunteer spots using the email below! Please contact Gina Lacroix at

VA Hospitals

The VA hospital is always open for high school volunteers. Each one offers different volunteering opportunities; however, the hospital is always a great way to acquire volunteer hours. Contact the VA hospital in your vicinity to get more specific Veterans Day opportunities or schedule an event!

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to check out the links below or contact a state officer.

Link to state service project:

Image courtesy of

Maurice S. Henderson
How to Deal With Stress

How to Deal With Stress

by Sunjuna Chalasani, Vice President of Membership

For many students, high school can be a very stressful time. Juggling school, work, sports, and extracurricular activities can leave very little time for anything but high levels of anxiety. As a result, self-care and mental health are often ignored only for the negative effects to become more apparent in the future. Stress, however, is something that can easily be avoided. Here are some tips to help!

Time Management is Key

Every teenager has heard this line before, but ignore the cliché and think deeper. Stress comes from being overwhelmed and for most teenagers, is a result of poor time management. According to the Huffington Post, 87% of students (high schoolers and college students) struggle with procrastination. Procrastination increases stress by escalating the time pressure to get work done. Delaying work only makes things harder for yourself. Good news! It only takes 21 days to create a habit like creating a routine that minimizes procrastination and eliminates stress. One way to reduce procrastination is to start holding yourself accountable. Tell a friend or family member what you are trying to do. This puts extra pressure on you to follow through with your plan. Make a to-do list so everything you need to do is laid out in front of you. Break down every big task into a couple of smaller ones so progress is more apparent. Turn off your phone and move away from possible distraction. This way even if you want to procrastinate, you can’t.

Get Some ZZZ’s

Sleep is a mechanism by which your body recovers and restores its energy reserves. If you are not getting enough sleep, your body will use its stress to keep you active and alert in the absence of stored energy. It is hard to get enough sleep when you are overworked and overwhelmed. An average high schooler needs about 8 hours of sleep, yet 1 in 5 get less than 5. Nobody wants to be sleep deprived and sometimes it is out of your control. However, with more sleep comes better grades, better mental health, and an overall better well-being. Start by developing a nightly routine and getting into the habit of going to bed at the same time; your routine should wind you down. Get rid of distractions that could hurt the quality of your sleep, such as television or phones. This might be difficult with school and other activities, but on most days it should be possible. Even on weekends. Don’t sleep in and waste the day because it disturbs your body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm. If you do feel like you need some extra rest, feel free to take a short 20 minute power nap, so you wake up refreshed.

You Matter Too

When stressed, self-care is often the first thing to go. The irony is self-care can be the solution to your stress. It is easy to become overwhelmed by life and forget about taking care of yourself. Take some time to truly relax and forget about the other things. Meditation and yoga are perfect activities to help you do just that. Meditating will aid in clearing your mind while practicing yoga will double the effect to ease your stress. Do anything that helps you rewind so you are ready to bounce back. Take a bath, drink some chamomile tea, treat yourself to your favorite meal, or read a nice book! One idea could be writing in a journal at the end of the day. Putting down what has been going on in your life can help you better visualize a solution and realize that a majority of the time, your problems or tasks seem bigger than they actually are. Sometimes you will need more help. Just talking to someone about how you feel can make an immense difference. They can help distract you from the cause of your stress or help release some of built-up tension by discussing it. When distraught, one’s ability to see clearly can be foggy and can cloud up judgement. Talking things through with a family member, friend, or even a trained professional, can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective.

Maurice S. Henderson
Workplace Skills Assessment Program Overview

Workplace Skills Assessment Program Overview

by Turner Halle, Vice-President of Communications

The Workplace Skills Assessment Program is central to the great experience and organization that is Business Professionals of America. The WSAP is a competition composed of over 90 events(Michigan Association has access to 50) which focus on valuable workplace skills in relevant areas. These Assessment Areas such as Finance, Administrative Support, Information Technology, Marketing, Management, and Communication, cover an expansive range of concepts from the business education curricula. This allows BPA members to seek out and compete in categories specific to their personal interests or passions.

The goal of the Workplace Skills Assessment Program is to provide the opportunity for all business students to demonstrate and develop vital workplace skills. Through the 90+ events discussed above and their broad scope, the WSAP program has created the means for its participants to amply prepare for their careers. By implementing this program, Business Professionals of America is actively fulfilling its mission statement to “prepare for careers in a world-class workforce.” and “develop professionalism and leadership”.

Students display their individual, or team, prowess through regional, state, and national conferences. Professional dress and conduct are required at these events. Each secondary level student may enter up to two events. Of those, only one may be a team event. Team events further cultivate student business skills by encouraging collaboration and teamwork, both of which are important in the workplace. Students may also compete in any number of open events. An open event is an objective test on predetermined topics. Pre-qualification is not necessary to compete in open events at the state or national level. Competition progression is as follows: Students begin at Regionals. The top qualifiers in each event advance to the State conference, where only the best of the best will win the honor of going to the competition’s culmination, the National Conference. This competition is held in May and at a variety of different cities around the nation. In addition to advancement, students also earn recognition, medals, and plaques for their performance.

Before entering a WSAP competition, there are a few things you need to know. If you follow these few tips, you will be sure to get the most out of you BPA experience.

  1. Be Prepared!

Make sure you have studied and practiced for all of your events. The extra polish that comes from running through a presentation a couple times can make a big difference. Also, if your event requires additional forms like an individual or team entry from, bring extra copies! Due to the many people and events, it can be easy to get confused. Know where and when your events are before arrival.

  1. Know what to expect.

The WSAP competitions are busy events with large numbers of people. Come ready to network with others in addition to talking with your own chapter members. Always act and look professional, whether you are in front of the judges or just eating lunch.

  1. Have fun!

The conference can be stressful at times so remember to have fun! You are getting the unique opportunity to improve your skills and at the same time, have a great time.

There are several requirements that must be met before competing in the Workplace Skills Assessment Program. Each chapter advisor will need to download the current edition of the Workplace Skills Assessment Program Guidelines, Style & Reference Manual, Human Resource Manual, Individual Entry Form, Team Entry Form, and Release Form. All can be found on the BPA website: . Next, every secondary division Michigan advisor must also have the current issue of the Michigan Guidelines Supplement. These guidelines outline the dress code and delegate code of conduct for conferences, events, and other activities. The document is available on the Michigan BPA website:

Maurice S. Henderson
Success Stories from Michigan BPA

Success Stories from Michigan BPA

by Ashley Speck, Vice-President of Chapter Activities

As a junior in high school I believed there was no organization that I could join to help me become a better person; I thought wrong. When I joined BPA, I thought I was signing up for an event that was going to be just a competition. Then, I walked into Baker College and I realized that it is so much more than that. People with different interests were able to call themselves business professionals and instantly relate with members they had never met simply because they were also involved in BPA. It was incredible.

Success from our members does not just come from how far they get competing; it is about their personal growth. Our members join BPA as students and leave as well-trained professionals. Michigan BPA has a strong presence.


A student from Clarkston was able to meet a student from Mason, and that started a friendship that will last a lifetime. The state officer teams from years past to present have created bonds that will help mold the future. Students from Bay Arenac ISD were able to obtain internships and jobs through the connections that BPA has given them. Students can connect with students that are like minded and they are able to bond over BPA, and so much more.


Students can grow and mold into real life professionals. A student was able to place in every open event at regional competitions and with that, his name is now well known. Many students go into their first regional competition and they realize it is so much more than a test. From sitting in the room with many other students or outside a room waiting for your interview time, you are surrounded with people that have likeminded goals. Goals that may be just to advance or to give back for torch points, or to get over the fear of public speaking. When students accomplish a goal, they are molding a future. No matter the size of the accomplishment, they are simply creating a success story. Professionals of every age know how hard it is to stand out in front of peers. Michigan BPA opens the doors for ambitious students wanting for change and are willing speak up. Ryan, a student from BAISD, says BPA has made it easier from him to approach people, or even speak to them in large groups. Kat, a student from Wilson Talent Center says that BPA has allowed her to become more confident, organized, and professional, as well as allowing her to work together for success rather than alone.


The advisors get satisfaction when their chapter grows and shapes into a “dream team.” Many advisors stay a part of BPA for many years. Some of them get recognized on a national stage. Many advisors put in endless hours, which help our members’ success stories. From aiding the local officer team, helping students study for competitions, or the early mornings before competitions, advisors are paving each student’s success story as well as molding their own.

Your Success Story

Students from across the state of Michigan have been impacted. Whether you fit into the category of a changed young professional, or you are just entering your first regional competition. You can create your own success story just like me and many other students that have stood where you are currently standing. This is the place where together we can rely on our rarities and create a personalized success story.

Maurice S. Henderson
Torch Awards Program

Torch Awards Program

by Nathan Lee, State President

Differentiate. You have probably heard this word often in today’s society—whether it be companies trying to make their products unique or job-seekers trying to set themselves apart from hundreds of applicants. As students grow into adults, differentiation is critical for success. An early start on developing your brand can bring large advantages later on, and being involved with Business Professionals of America definitely sets you apart from others. However, there are still a multitude of students involved with BPA and other CTSOs. Now, what else can you do to differentiate yourself even more?

The theoretically perfect answer to this stress-inducing dilemma is to simply do more. However, most people struggle to translate this simple solution into action. They usually think too broadly and fail to recognize the smaller steps they ought to take. So, let’s simplify our situations to find the most accessible things we can do within our boundaries—which leads us to the Torch Awards Program.

The Torch Awards Program is designed to promote the well-roundedness of BPA members. By participating in Torch, you can not only get recognized at the Regional, State, and National Leadership Conference, but you can also differentiate yourself from thousands of other candidates who are applying to colleges and internships. The benefits you can attain from this program significantly outweigh the price you would be paying—literally and figuratively. On top of Torch Awards being completely free, you can earn a well-recognized State or National award for putting in only a couple hours of work to your Torch resume. Having this extra achievement adds on to your overall brand, and by completion, you will have already differentiated yourself from those who chose not to participate.

So how does Torch Awards Program work, then? Torch operates through an online portal ( After logging into the website using BPA ID and password, click “add activity.” This leads you to a link where they can input experiences that pertain to one of the seven categories: leadership, service, cooperation, knowledge, friendship, patriotism, and love, faith, hope. Inputted activities of either 5, 10, 15, or 20 points will show up in a compilation called the Torch resume. BPA members can apply for Executive, Diplomat, Statesman, and Ambassador Torch Award, which require 10, 30, 50, and 70 points respectively for each of the seven categories. Although this may sound time consuming, in reality, it is not. Because the deadlines for each Torch award submission are spaced out over the span of six months (November to April), participants will get a chance to go back and finish the resume as the year progresses. Also, the descriptions for each activity do not need to be five paragraph essays. Torch graders are only looking for a proof that the participant completed the inputted activities, descriptions for each can be as short and concise as one or two sentences. If there is an image to be supplemented for the activity, it is always highly encouraged that participants add them. It is beneficial to keep in mind that people grading the Torch resumes are trying to understand whether the applicants deserve the award. Therefore, it is critical to have proper grammar, proper spelling, and to be truthful when filling out the resume.

Receiving Torch Awards is not difficult. The program is designed so that BPA members can take advantage of their prior experiences and expand their comfort zones through trying out new activities to log onto their Torch resume. The most challenging part of Torch is taking the very first step. Therefore, when the school year starts, log into your Torch account. Once you get started, you will be well on your way to differentiating yourself and becoming a true business professional.

Maurice S. Henderson
Putting the “Fun” Back in Fundraising

Putting the “Fun” Back in Fundraising

by Apoorva Dayananda, State Secretary/Treasurer

Fundraising can often be boring, stressful, and uncomfortable. For the people they are targeted towards, they can be perceived as pretty annoying. But, what if there was a way to make them enjoyable for both sides while making it seem as if it was not even a fundraiser.

Some fundraisers include knocking on every door in your neighborhood and asking for money. However, this way may be awkward and boring for both you and whomever’s door you are knocking on. Nevertheless, there are different fundraisers to help avoid this awkwardness. In fact there is one for every letter of the alphabet: auctions, bake sales, carnivals, dinner parties, egg hunts, food truck rallies, game nights, haunted houses, ice cream socials, jewelry sales, karaoke nights, lip-synch battle, movie nights, night out day, obstacle course, pancake breakfast, quizzes (ex: match-o-matics), raffles, sports tournaments, talent shows, used book sale, valentines grams, water activities (water guns, tubing, boating, etc.), X-Mas crafts, yoga, and Zumba. The idea of these fundraisers is providing the donors with an experience for their money. Additionally, these types of fundraisers will attract potential donors and provide a fun way to raise money for both yourself as well as the public.

While fundraising, there are some key ideas to keep in mind. First, set clear goals that you want your fundraiser to achieve. These goals help set a course for your fundraiser and ensure that it runs smoothly, which can help reduce the stress that comes with planning and running a fundraiser.

Second, don’t be afraid to approach people. While it may seem daunting at first, people are fun to talk to. Through this communication, you are promoting your organization, thus increasing its presence within your community.

Third, fundraise as a team. A team promotes new ideas and provides a diverse set of skills to help with your fundraiser. Additionally, a team builds energy and motivation, which are essential in encouraging people to donate.

Also, don’t be afraid to try something new. The same fundraiser gets boring, causing people not to come. By changing things up, it will spark new interest in potential donors.

Furthermore, put yourself in the donor’s shoes. Why would they want to come to your fundraiser? Some donors will donate out of the goodness of their hearts; however, others will need some sort of incentive from your fundraiser. For example, you could provide food, merchandise, or raffle prizes. The donor should come away with from your fundraiser with something; whether it may be something physical or an experience.

Most importantly, always have a positive attitude towards your organization and fundraiser. Having a positive attitude will encourage people to donate and come to future fundraises. Additionally, positive attitudes convey your passion towards the organization that you are representing, which shows people why they should contribute money through your fundraiser.

A successful fundraiser not only entails the amount of dollars raised but also the relationships built with the community. These relationships will increase the presence of your organization and help ensure the success of your future fundraisers.

Maurice S. Henderson
2018-2019 State Theme, Mission Statement, and State Service Project

2018-2019 State Theme, Mission Statement, and State Service Project
by Randall Madison, State Historian

Welcome back Michigan BPA! If you have not heard already, National BPA has announced their theme for this upcoming school year, “Together We Create”. Now, it is Michigan BPA’s turn to announce our State Theme, State Mission Statement, and State Service Project!

State Theme

This year Michigan BPA, has chosen “Rely on your Rarity” as the 2018-2019 State Theme. As an officer team, we have come to realize that all of us are rare in our own way, we all rely on our own rarity to help each other with tasks at hand. As an officer team, we are trying to encourage you as members to be true to yourselves and your beliefs as you enter the world of business. We also seek to challenge you to define and be confident in your rarity throughout the upcoming year. So remember to embrace what makes you unique and not to conform to the “normal” standard because it is your “rarity” that makes you who you are.

Mission Statement

In order to guide our state association, the State Executive Council decides on a mission statement to put or goals for Michigan BPA into words. Our mission statement has been similar for the past few years, so this year we decided to change it up. We have chosen the mission statement to be as follows:

“The mission of our organization is to empower others to become leaders in a world-class workforce and provide a strong support system to all members. We will help the members of the Michigan Association develop student professionalism, self-confidence, and perseverance in their future endeavors.”

In the first sentence, we state that we want to empower each and every one of our members to become leaders. This has been a primary aim of our organization, and our officer team feels we can help you become leaders by collaborating with local chapters and improving communication from the state association to individual members. In the second sentence, we emphasize our willingness to help students develop a professional attitude both in business and all other pursuits. As a State Officer Team, we want the members of the Michigan Association to be prepared to participate in our nation’s workforce by stressing the importance of business professionalism. We also chose self-confidence because it ties into our state theme. If you “Rely on your Rarity”, then you will be self-confident in the skills and qualities that make you one of a kind. Last but not least, we encourage you to have perseverance in your future endeavors. Not everything will be easy in life; there will be challenges to overcome and obstacles to face for all of us. Having perseverance will make the tough times more bearable, and success more achievable.

State Service Project

As an officer team we made a unanimous decision on this year’s State Service Project. As proud Americans, we look towards those who defend our freedom for our organization’s service efforts. We have chosen to “Serve Those Who Serve”.

All of us have personal ties to veterans who have devoted their lives to protect ours, so it is time that we give back. This year we are challenging all of Michigan BPA to spend 2,000 hours serving veterans in our community and to help fundraise $1,000 dollars to donate to the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). If all members were to devote two hours of community service to their local Veterans Hospital, we will reach our goal in no time! You can also fundraise money in any way to donate to the MVAA. These brave men and women devoted their time to us so it is our turn to devote our time to them.

Michigan BPA, we look forward to working alongside you this year, in embracing the 2018-2019 State Theme, Mission Statement, and State Service Project. If you have any questions about these initiatives, feel free to contact any of your State Officers! We enjoy hearing the thoughts and suggestions from all of our members. Good luck this year, and be sure to “Rely on your Rarity”!

Maurice S. Henderson
Welcome to a New Year

Welcome to a New Year of Michigan BPA
by Nathan Lee, State President

It is officially the start of a new year of Business Professionals of America, and I, on behalf of Michigan BPA and the State Executive Council, would like to welcome you to a fresh, new start of another year!

The State Executive Council is tremendously excited for what every one of you will bring to the table this year. With new and exceptional members, our state has never failed to improve, and we strongly believe that this trend will continue. In fact, we plan to escalate your potential even further! There will be many more opportunities, events, legacy launchers, and bonding sessions throughout the year. Not only that, but we are motivated to provide what you want. Whether it be a school visit for a specific cause or a suggestion to improve State Leadership Conference, we are here to make sure that you have the best experience, both enjoyably and productively.

To inform you of the opportunities we will be offering, here are several highlights of what will be coming your way this year!

 State Service Project

The state officers realized that participation in the State Service Project was very minimal for the past few years. This may be because of an obvious of lack of incentive to search for ways to volunteer. Therefore, we will provide everything you need. From volunteering at organizations already in collaboration with MIBPA and contacting new organizations for your chapter to visit, to a compilation of all the highly relevant fundraising activities you could organize, everything will be sent to you for your benefit!

 Internship Opportunities

If you have felt unknowledgeable about opportunities you could have taken, you are not alone. We have received numerous requests for internship opportunities, and we are putting it into effect this year! We will build partnerships with local businesses and organizations across the state of Michigan and will focus on collecting internship opportunities you could take advantage of. If you are not quite committed to working full-time yet, there will be smaller events such as job shadowing, workshops, and summer camps. Through this, we hope that you will get to utilize the business skills you have acquired in and out of BPA in real life situations.


Without communication, none of the things we are bringing to you will reach their destination. This is why the state officers will focus on reaching out to our members this year. Through effective communication, you will get more access to resources and information for your success. Remember, the state executive council will have difficulty reaching out to all 4,000 members in the State. However, with your help, you can maximize the impact and make this year more meaningful than it ever.

With this being said, we look forward to seeing every one of you either at the Fall Leadership Conference, the Regional Leadership Conferences, or the State Leadership Conference!

Maurice S. Henderson
2018 FLC Registration is Open

This year’s fall leadership conference for all Secondary chapters in the Lower Peninsula, will be held at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing on Friday, October 5, 2018. Fall Leadership Conference details are available online by clicking here.

Special group hotel accommodations have not been arranged. Schools that may want to arrive on Sunday night should note that the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol is connected to the convention center via skywalk. Chapters that wish to arrive on Sunday night may make their own hotel reservations at any hotel of their choice.

Advisors from Region 5 (the Upper Peninsula) will meet with the state director via videoconference on October 8, 2018. Information regarding that meeting will be sent from the Region 5 Regional Advisors Ronalyn Arseneau and Sabina Casperson.

Maurice S. Henderson
Michigan BPA Wins Big at 2018 NLC
 Pictured: DeWitt High School's students who placed in the Top 10 at the 2018 NLC

Pictured: DeWitt High School's students who placed in the Top 10 at the 2018 NLC

Michigan BPA is extremely proud of our 2018 NLC participants.

For those chapter advisors who attended the 2018 National Leadership Conference in Dallas (Grapevine), Texas, congratulations on representing Michigan quite well. We applaud the Michigan Association on spreading your wings and exemplifying top-notch professionalism and success in your events.

The conference was exciting because Michigan kept its record of winning the most awards. Here are some exciting highlights:

  • Skylar McArthur, Alma College was elected to national office as the 2018-2019 National Postsecondary President
  • Dawn Perez, Swan Valley High School, was honored as the BPA Advisor of the Year
  • Matt Leddy, Swan Valley High School/Eastern Michigan University, was honored with the Emerging Alumni Award
  • Number of Secondary Division winners: 106 in the Top 10; 30 in the top 3
  • Number of Postsecondary Division winners: 138 in the top 10; 53 in the top 3

A full summary with the NLC winners list along with some photo highlights of the conference will posted online at


Maurice S. Henderson
Purchase State Conference Photos

Do you want to make sure you can remember the excitement of the 2018 State Leadership Conference in living color? Maybe you want to secure photos for a graduation gift? Or, do you want to make sure you have nice pictures to display during an upcoming Open House? View and purchase photo downloads by visiting our Photo Store by clicking here.

Photos are only available for purchase until Friday, May 25, 2018. After that time, the pictures will no longer be available.

BPA Life After Regional Competition

The Regional Leadership Conferences (RLCs) were the first step in the competitive journey for some of our BPA Members. Sadly, after the RLCs, many of our members will not move on to the next competition. However, the end of regional competition does not have to be the end of BPA for our members. There is a multitude of opportunities still available after competitions begin.

The first and most accessible option for new members is to continue participating in local chapter activities, such as fundraising, attending chapter events, or organizing activities related to chapter events. There are flexible and creative options that students can access through local chapter activities, and much of the work done within your local chapter will have a long, meaningful impact that will contribute to the success of that chapter.

Even if you did not place at RLC, there are still ways to attend the state Leadership Conference (SLC). Local chapter officers are able to attend the SLC as voting delegates, and serve in the official business meeting. Torch Awards also allow members to attend the SLC if they did not place in their competitive events. All members who attend the SLC will also have the chance to place and qualify for the National Leadership Conference in open events.

Business Professionals of America is, of course, centered on the business industry. If you are interested in a specific career path or position within the business, technology, or administrative fields, ask your advisor or a member from your state executive council for new ways to network, meet, and shadow professionals in any field-- the opportunities in this aspect of BPA are well worth the effort.

Not placing at your Regional Leadership Conference can be very disappointing, but there are still many options left to thrive during the remainder of your BPA career.

Written by Max Gregg, 2017-2018 Vice-President of Communications

Maurice S. Henderson