Centre’s future leaders live up to their name

Staff writer

Centre High School students Ally Basore, Nellie Kassebaum, Bryanna Svoboda, and Makenzie Deines had been to the Future Business Leaders of America leadership conference before, and they watched as others walked across stage to receive awards.

Last week in Nashville, it was their turn in the spotlight.

Basore was national champion in introduction to parliamentary procedure. Kassebaum placed third in electronic portfolio, and Svoboda and Deines were seventh in community service projects.

“I remember just thinking, ‘I can’t imagine I made it this far. What if I got first?” Basore said.

Nine other finalists went to the stage with Basore, and one by one the awards were announced, until only Basore was left.

“I didn’t think I would get this at all. I thought possibly 10th would probably be what I would get,” she said.

Basore said she studied extensively for the computer-based competition.

“I made many, many flash cards. A lot of times I would make posters and draw all my facts on there to connect both sides of the brain to remember everything,” Basore said.

Kassebaum had some anxious moments before being called to the stage.

“My name was called dead last,” Kassebaum said. “When I got on stage and they called 10, nine, eight, and I made it down to three, I was pretty happy.”

Kassebaum chose her photography business as the subject for her career-based electronic portfolio. This gave her a head start in composing the portfolio, but Kassebaum said she also wanted to honor her step-grandfather, the late Sen. Howard Baker.

“He was the one who inspired me to start photography,” she said. “He taught me the basics and inspired my love for photography.”

Kassebaum had seven minutes to present her portfolio, and she memorized her speech for maximum impact.

“You have to make sure people see your passion when you’re doing this,” she said.

Deines and Svoboda collaborated on their seventh-place community service project, Senior Savvy, which involved teaching 23 senior citizens how to use the Internet and social media to connect with family members and friends.

They started with one-on-one instruction last fall using school iPads, and Svoboda said the senior citizens got hooked on technology.

“They came back after Christmas with their very own iPads or laptops,” Svoboda said.

This was the third national FBLA competition for both.

“This was the first year we made it on stage, and it was crazy. There were over 10,000 people there,” Deines said.

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