DALLAS — Drew Lojewski wants to use his recent win at the Future Business Leaders of America national competition as leverage to re-establish the club in the Dallas High School.
Lojewski, 15, of Shavertown, earned second place in the digital video production category at the FBLA national competition in Baltimore, Maryland June 26-July 2. The accomplishment took the freshman by surprise, considering it was his first time competing and the district does not have a FBLA chapter.
“They (Dallas School District) used to have their own chapter,” said Chad Lojewski, Drew’s father. “There has been some discussion about bringing it back.”
Drew participated in the club through its online virtual state program.
“I was part of the virtual chapter; instead of it being for a specific school, it is for the entire state,” Drew said. “It orientates itself towards home-schooled kids as well as schools that don’t have an FBLA Club.”
Maura Angle, cooperative education and diversified occupations coordinator at Delaware Valley High School in Milford, was the virtual chapter advisor, who helped Drew pick an event for the upcoming state and national competitions.
“There are about 70-plus events,” Drew said. “I am not exactly sure of the number, but there are a lot.”
FBLA competition event choices include accounting, computer game and simulation programs, healthcare administration, journalism, public speaking, social media campaigns, sports and entertainment management, to name a few.
The categories give students an opportunity to explore areas of interest while building research and presentation skills.
In September 2017, Drew decided to compete in the digital video production event. The category’s assigned topic was oddly enough the same as his personal goal, which is to start an FBLA Chapter at his school.
He began pulling together his project.
“I had to start from square one,” he said.”I had to figure out what each event was, if there were other kids in my school district interested next year. I had to do that research myself because I did not have an advisor or teacher in my school to ask.”
For his event, he was required to create a two-minute video accompanied by a five-minute presentation.
Drew did not have any teammates, so he was faced with writing a script, acquiring waivers from cast members, camera operations, directing, producing and editing the video.
Drew’s hard work paid off.
In April, he was among 400 students who competed at the FBLA state contest at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center. He placed in the top four and advanced to the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland.
“We were trying to estimate how many were in that room in Baltimore — we estimated 14,000,” Chad said.
Drew repeated his video and presentation, which earned him second place and $400.
“A three-person team from Arkansas beat me,” Drew said.
Drew is setting his sites on next year’s competition but also plans to establish an FBLA Chapter at Dallas High School this fall.
He intends to apply to the Dallas School Board on Aug. 1, asking it to allow him to start a club and then begin recruiting in September.
“It has never been taken as seriously as it will be now. I’m not exactly sure what the records were; I’m trying to figure that out what the past years have done in Dallas, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only kid that actually placed at the national level in the school district — ever,” Drew said.
Drew plans to become an FBLA state officer to “help other schools set up FBLA program,” he said. “I would like to work up to become a national officer.”