Local High School Students Are Learning to Become Our Future Business Leaders

At Pedro Menendez High School, our career academies are an integral part of the student education and experience. Our VyStar Business Academy provides students with a well-rounded education in business principles, employability skills, entrepreneurial principles, legal aspects of business, digital citizenship and literacy, and Microsoft Office. Students in the VyStar Business Academy who also join FBLA can connect and form relationships with classmates and community business leaders.

Future Business Leaders of America, Inc. (FBLA) is the largest business Career and Technical Student Organization in the United States. FBLA’s mission is to inspire and prepare students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences. Our chapter advisor, Geoffrey Hendricks, leads our students to accomplish the FBLA goals which include:

  • Develop competent, aggressive business leaders
  • Strengthen confidence of students
  • Create interest in and understanding of American businesses
  • Encourage members in developing projects that contribute to the improvement of home, business, and community
  • Develop character
  • Encourage and practice efficient money management
  • Encourage scholarship and promote school loyalty
  • Facilitate the transition from school to work

Students compete at the district level, then can advance to state and national levels. At Pedro Menendez High School, we had 27 students competing at the district level for the 2022-2023 school year. Of those 27 members, 12 students qualified for state competition in Orlando in March.

Our students are successful because of the educational platform we use, INCubatorEDU, or INC for short.  INC is an entrepreneurial think tank for students. According to Tim Davidson, INC instructor,” We are training the next generation of young entrepreneur using the lean start up method of starting a business.” Teams of students in the INC class work closely with their business teachers and local business professionals. We call them mentors. The mentors work with business concepts in every aspect, finance, marketing, start-up, operations, and presentation skills. The business teams pitch their business for potential real startup funding, think Shark Tank. The winners of the classroom pitch win class prizes and the opportunity to compete at a national level. “The local business community has been invaluable in helping our young people learn realistic business concepts. All the business concepts taught in the INCubatorEDU program will carry over to life skills.”

At Pedro Menendez High School, our goal is to continue to grow the VyStar Business Academy and Future Business Leaders of America together. It will help encourage students to gain a valuable Career and Technical Education, bolster our local community, and providing students with opportunities to continue their business education and experiences.  If you would like to be involved in giving back to our local high school students please reach out to Kristina Bransford, Career Academy Specialist, to find out how easy it is to become a mentor.  According to Mrs. Bransford “it is amazing to see the excitement in our students when they get to work with “real” business mentors.  Taking their ideas and bringing them to life is a rewarding process for both student and business mentor.”  Just a few hours throughout the entire school year goes a long way to inspire our local Future Business Leaders!

For more information on how to help, email Kristina Bransford at Kristina.Bransford@stjohns.k12.fl.us  or call 904-547-8681.  See https://www-pmhs.stjohns.k12.fl.us/academies/

For more information on FBLA, see https://www.fbla-pbl.org/