SHS's John Graves FBLA Finalist at Nationals in Anaheim, California
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Friday, August 04, 2017
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Graves FBLA Finalist at Nationals in Anaheim, California

More than 9,600 of America’s best and brightest high school students traveled to Southern California to establish their own Legacy of Leadership as they competed for the opportunity to win more than $170,000 in cash awards.


The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference was held June 27–July 3 in Anaheim, California. Participants from across the United States and abroad attended this exciting conference to enhance their business skills, expand their networks, and participate in more than 70 business and business-related competitive events. Sonoraville High School’s chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America was among these students.  Three FBLA members (Catherine Farist, John Graves, and Alex Naymick) represented Sonoraville to compete on the national level.

John Graves received national recognition as being a Finalist in the area of Banking and Financial Systems.  Catherine Farist competed in Future Business Leader and Alex Naymick competed in Public Speaking II.  

The group as a whole was also recognized in various categories, as the chapter received the Gold Seal Award of Merit and was named an Outstanding Chapter.  The chapter also completed the Chapter Challenge by participating in the Super Sweeps, Non-Stop November and Action Awareness Activities.

While at the conference, Sonoraville FBLA members toured the Spectra Business (a division of Berkshire Hathway) in Los Angeles, toured Hollywood, visited Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach, visited Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Lisa Smith, FBLA Adviser and Business Instructor from SHS, and Dustin Curtis, a SHS FBLA Alumni accompanied the students on the trip.  Smith is very proud of her students for being among the cream of the crop at this competition. “Georgia FBLA walked away with more than 150 top ten winners and more than 50 finalist and scholarship winners. For us to compete on this level, it is astonishing.  We would not have been able to compete on this level without the support of our local businesses, donors, and supporters of our fundraising efforts.  We appreciate your support in getting us there!”

Farist will head to Georgia Tech this Fall, while Smith looks forward to one more year with Graves and Naymick.                          

About FBLA-PBL, Inc.

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the premier student business organization, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter million members and advisers in over 6,500 active middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The association is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. For more information, visit or contact


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