Thomas County Central High School student Bishop Jackson earned a world ranking at this summer’s 2021 Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference and Competition. A sophomore when he began advancing through the competition ranks, Jackson achieved 10th place in Coding & Programming.
Jackson, now a junior, felt excited about his win and said he was pleasantly surprised with his result.
“I did not expect to place so high, competing against people from all across the world,” he said. “It means so much to me that the judges believed my project stood out among others.”
TCCHS FBLA chapter adviser Nick Haskin said more than 14,000 students and competitors participated in the conference this year. Placing at national competition is a noteworthy feat any year, he continued, but considering Jackson’s grade level at the time, it’s quite an accomplishment.
“Bishop competed against competitors throughout the nation and other nations throughout the world,” Haskin said. “To place at NLC as a senior is extremely hard; to place at NLC against mostly seniors as just a sophomore … Bishop Jackson has achieved quite a feat!”
For his category, Jackson had to create a standalone computer program that quizzes the user about FBLA.
“After a quiz is taken, the program must tell the user which questions they got correct and incorrect,” he said. “Finally, the code had to allow the user to print their results. My entry went above these requirements by also showing the user high miss questions.”
The plan was to hold the event in Anaheim, Calif.; unfortunately, due to continuing pandemic concerns and lockdown, the competition went virtual. As a result, Jackson had to present his program several times to the judges using Zoom.
“The virtual format is not as fun as the typical in-person competition,” he said.
FBLA assists members with preparing for business careers by acquiring knowledge and experience through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs. Regional, state and national competitions include more than 60 academic events covering a wide range of business topics like technology, public speaking, finance, and management.
Haskin thanked his fellow FBLA advisers and school administrators for their support and efforts in helping make the TCCHS FBLA chapter and its members successful. He anticipates starting up the chapter’s new year now that school is in again.
And another year means new opportunities for returning and incoming members. For example, Jackson plans to use his experience from the national competition to improve this year’s projects.
“Now that I know what the judges are looking for, I can tweak my next program and presentation to - hopefully - place higher in the next competition,” he said.