Largest BPA group to attend States

by Mila Murray

As of March 20, and continuing on through March 23, Business Professionals of America (BPA) will be staying in Grand Rapids to participate in the State Leadership Conference (States). They headed out at 3:00 p.m. on March 20 and will be back in Rochester Sunday afternoon. This year, the 70 members of BPA attending States make up the largest group ever in all of Stoney’s BPA history to attend.

So preparation has been vigorous.

“They have all this extra time in the evening after school to prepare for their team or individual event,” BPA advisor Kathleen Ford said. “We have mentor groups, where some of the leaders come in from the prior years that have competed and they’ll mentor the younger students.”

Not only has BPA broken the record of how many members attending States, they also, for the first time, were able to take 4 out of 5 of the spots at States for financial accounting. It’s also the first time the finance analyst team is attending.

“Our finance team bumped Adams for the first time ever from going to States,” Ford said, “so their finance team is not attending at all. It’s a big win for the school!”

Many of the students working on the finance team are enrolled in the Accounting 3&4 class at Adams, a class Ford is aiming to have at Stoney next year as well. Senior Gabe Grosse, a student in Accounting 3&4, is one of the finance team members.

“Our Financial team came in second at the Regionals,” Grosse said. “For Regionals we were given an example of a person who wanted to take out a $100,000 loan, and we had to try to put the numbers in a way where he is either able to or not able to. We only had 90 minutes.”

Taking classes such as Financial Math allowed Grosse to be on the finance team. Not only is he enrolled in business classes at school—he has an internship at the Rochester Regional Chambers of Commerce and strives to become an accountant.

“I really want to be an accountant,” Grosse said. “Right now at my internship the president wants me to merge 2 companies’ credit cards from a bank and put them online.”

Another member of the finance team is Kayla Nguyen, the only sophomore, who is being mentored to take over the team when the seniors leave.

“Once I started taking the accounting classes I got hooked on it,” Nguyen said. “Being the youngest is overwhelming at first, but then it all works out.”

The goal this year is to get at least 5 teams to the National Leadership Conference (Nationals) including the finance team.

“I hope our numbers are reflexive of our hard work,” Ford said.

Click here for more information about the BPA States competition.

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