Legg Middle School students Hunter Smith, Daniel Zimmerman and Maggie Vitto, from the Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship (BLE) evening class at the Branch Area Careers Center, planned to travel to National Harbor, Md. (Washington D.C. area) this month.

They qualified to attend the Business Professionals of America (BPA) 2020 National Leadership Conference May 6-10, said Susan Sobeske, BPA chapter advisor and BACC Career Development Consultant. Smith and Zimmerman also planned to represent the Michigan’s BPA Middle Level by competing in the Business Math and Digital Citizenship events, respectively.

“Each year, the National Leadership Conference offers our students the opportunity to showcase their skills, compete against other students from across the country, and be recognized for the dedication and hard work they have put forth through the year,” Sobeske said.

They also would have explored Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas.

“The cancellation of this year’s conference due to COVID-19, while disappointing, allows students to ‘stay home and stay safe,’” Sobeske said. “The BLE class is proud of Hunter, Daniel, and Maggie for qualifying to represent the Branch Intermediate School District’s Middle Level BPA chapter and Michigan at the BPA National Leadership Conference.”

This year’s conference, supported by apprenticeship.gov, would have brought together more than 6,000 conference delegates from across the nation to compete in national level business skills competitions and attend leadership development, workshops, general sessions, and national officer candidate campaigns and elections.

Next year’s conference is scheduled to take place in Orlando, Fla.

BPA is the premier Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) for middle, high school, and college level students preparing for careers in business, finance, management information systems, and other related fields.

The organization’s activities and programs complement classroom instruction by giving students practical experience through application of the skills learned at school.

BPA enhances student participation in professional, civic, service and social endeavors. Members participate in these activities to accomplish goals of self-improvement, leadership development, professionalism, community service, career development, public relations, student cooperation and safety and health, Sobeske said.

BPA is financially supported by various companies and organizations, including the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, Facebook, Reach and Teach, Precision Exams, and Certiport.

The generous support of BPA’s many partners facilitates scholarships, educational resources, professional development workshops, webinars and other opportunities for our students and educators, and help to make BPA’s National Leadership Conference possible and successful.