You may only know them as the shortest members at our conferences, but with over 20,000 members, the Middle Level is FBLA’s fastest growing division, and a force to be reckoned with.
I interviewed Steven Tessler, Florida-FBLA Region 5 Vice President from Olympic Heights Community High School, about the many benefits that his local chapter reaps from a partnership with their local Middle Level chapter.
Why did your FBLA chapter decide to get involved with your local ML chapter?
“My chapter decided to help charter/get involved with our local ML chapter because, when I looked back, I realized that I could have been so much more active in FBLA at an earlier age if I had the opportunity to join FBLA at the Middle Level. Therefore, I decided to talk to my chapter about helping our local feeder school to start a ML chapter and offer some of their kids the opportunity I didn’t have in middle school.”
What kinds of things do your chapters do together?
“Our chapters do a few things together. In the beginning, we would head over to their school after our school let out and help them conduct their first few meetings and interview for officer positions. After that, we would visit them to discuss registering for competitive events and how to prepare for district and state competition. We even had a little holiday party together before we let out for Winter Break. At the State Leadership Conference, we will be helping their attendees get acclimated to the SLC environment and show them what it’s like to attend the best leadership conference in the state! In the future, we hope to be able to increase their membership and involvement to rival some of the powerhouse ML chapters of District XX in FLorida FBLA-PBL.”
How has the partnership benefited your chapter? How do you think it might affect your membership in the future?
“I think our partnership with our local ML chapter has benefited our chapter in numerous ways. For starters, it gave some of our officers a real life situation to practice their leadership skills when talking to these middle school students about the numerous benefits FBLA offers to them. Additionally, it provided us with the rewarding feeling that accompanies giving back to where we came from, and providing others with opportunities that you weren’t able to have at that age. Lastly, I think it will have a positive effect on our future membership, as many students from that middle school go on to attend our high school, where they will be more likely to join FBLA and make impacting contributions to our chapter in the future.”
If your chapter has ever teamed up with your local ML chapter, I’d love to hear about it! Send your stories and pictures to FBLAparl@FBLA.org, and you may just be featured in a future blog post!