Canton-Galva High School will welcome back a nationally-recognized group when school starts this month.

Canton-Galva High School will welcome back a nationally-recognized group when school starts this month.

Seven students from the CG Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA, group attended this year’s FBLA National Conference in Atlanta, over the summer — and three students beat out thousands of teams to snag third place.

Kaylee Littrell, Autumn Colgin and Lane Wiens competed with their Partnership with Business project, which was to establish a Chamber of Commerce between the Canton and Galva communities. Their achievements and presentation propelled them through state-wide competitions and preliminaries at the national convention to third in the nation.

“I was so happy for them because they deserved it so much.  The Canton Chamber had folded several years ago and Galva had never had one and the students saw this as a great need for a community such as ours to stay competitive. They worked so hard through out the year on this project and it was awesome to see them come away with a high award for it,” sponsor Brenda Vogts said. “I will admit, I felt confident in this group going in and felt it would be a national-worthy project. As an adviser, I have never been more proud of three young people as I was that day.”

Hundreds of students compete in each event, which are divided into sections. Only the top two of each section are taken to finals, so teams must present again to judges against the cream of the crop.

More than 9,380 students traveled to Georgia to compete for the opportunity to win more than $179,000 in cash awards. Participants attended to enhance their business skills, expand their networks and participate in more than 65 business and business-related competitive events.

Other Canton-Galva High School students attending were Littrell competing in Public Speaking II; Sarah Frye competing in Future Business Leader and Who's Who in National FBLA; and Colgin, Kelli Nightingale, Ethan Loyd and Reed Wiens competing in Parliamentary Procedures.  Sponsors Tonya McMannis and Vogts accompanied the group.

The first two days, Littrell, Nightingale and Vogts attended the Institute for Leaders while the rest of the group toured Atlanta. It’s a workshop with several tracks, including classes for advisors like Vogts or for state officers like Littrell, the Kansas FBLA president and Nightingale, the Kansas parliamentarian.

The rest of the week was spent participating in preliminary competitions, workshops, exhibitions and presentations with keynote speakers.

“Attending the national competition is a great experience for all of the students.  It shows them the level of competition there is and the hard work and dedication that goes along with these competitions,” Vogts said. “Also the networking with other students and professionals is an excellent opportunity for them.”

Back home, the Canton-Galva Chamber of Commerce project will continue with future FBLA students through next year. Each year’s vice president will sit on the board of the chamber and report back to the group about events and progress.

“I do not foresee the kids actually running things; rather, they will still be an integral part of the group,” Vogts said.

The next event from the Canton-Galva Chamber of Commerce will be a cornhole tournament during Old Empire Days on Aug. 27.

For more information about FBLA national activities, visit http://fbla-pbl.org or http://www.cgfbla.com/ for local events.