LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Future Business Leaders of America members Alicia Wagner and Madison Duryea of Lakewood Ranch High School won the recent district competition in a category usually dominated by boys.
The two junior girls claimed victory over 11 teams of males in sports and entertainment management and competed in the state competition over the weekend. Results were unavailable at press time.
The competition is judged on three different components: objective questions, skills and production, and performance.
Objective questioning involves answering multiple-choice questions.
Skills and production includes producing certain products.
Performance is done the day of competition and includes showing a presentation or impromptu speaking.
"This is a new competition this year," said Wagner. "We had to focus on the marketing aspect of the project but also the sports. We had to think about how teams work ... how in colleges men and women have to have equal opportunities to play sports."
The competition ended in a surprise to at least some of the contestants.
"We were standing there as the two finalists, us and a group of boys," Wagner said. "As soon as they announced, the boys for a second their faces just dropped."
Duryea said: "The boys walked in pretty confident. You know guys and sports. They thought they had this in the bag."
Wagner and Madison will also be district officers next
The two young women said they value FBLA as career preparation.
Madison said she wishes to follow her father's footsteps in the entertainment business working for Ringling Bros. Circus.
"My dad is second generation in the entertainment business and I want to be the third," Madison said.
Wagner said she wants to pursue a career in the medical field.
FBLA adviser Bobbi Colson said networking contacts students make with other students and business professionals is a prime program benefit.
"(FBLA gives) students a sense of real-world situations to prepare them for future success," Colson said.
The team faced about 40 other schools at state. Six other Mustangs competed in state competition: juniors Hannah Watts, Megan Hartley and Hiwot Zewdie, sophomore Trevor Myers and freshmen Rachel Jenkins and Sienna Cirringione.
The club also participates in many community service projects throughout the year, including Christmas Angels, March of Dimes and Autism Speaks. The club might become involved with Southeastern Guide Dogs as a future project, Colson said.