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Lakeview High School graduate Andrew Herley this fall is making his way to Brookings, South Dakota, to attend South Dakota State University.

Soon-to-be Lakeview senior Ethan Goldfish Vinson already has plans of attending Purdue University in Indiana after completing high school in spring 2020.

While the two teens are heading to different universities, they both are preparing to attend the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference being held in San Antonio this June.

The duo this year was part of an 89-member FBLA group at Lakeview, which FBLA adviser Tara Dlouhy noted is the largest student-led business organization in all of Nebraska Class C. Goldfish Vinson will be attending the conference as the recently elected vice president of Nebraska FBLA, and Herley is set to compete in the “Sales Presentation” division at Nationals after walking away with a first-place finish at the state’s April Leadership Conference held in Omaha.

“One of our many goals is just to promote leadership and business practices among our students,” Dlouhy said. “We compete in different projects with different objectives and tests, and we also do different trips.”

Goldfish Vinson and Herley – along with Dlouhy – are the school’s lone representatives at this year’s National Convention. Herley, whose Sales Presentation project was to discuss and promote the PopSockets found on the backs of cellphones, competed against 17 other students from around the state.

Interestingly enough, Herley thought he performed poorly. Not because of a lack of preparation, but because his digital presentation wouldn’t work during the time he had to present to a three-judge panel.

“Everything was flawless multiple times before it,” Dlouhy said of Herley’s presentation. “And then we went to compete and his presentation wouldn’t pull up on the screen, so he had to completely wing it.”

Herley noted how he was able to keep his composure and get through it.

“I knew that I had to do it for myself, and I wanted to make Lakeview look good,” Herley said. “So I just put all of myself into it and gave it my heart.”

While Herley was making his presentation, Goldfish Vinson was in the process of learning that he had just been elected vice president. Twenty students from around the state applied for the positions of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and parliamentarian.

“They passed out all of these ballots to all of the voting delegates in the auditorium, and they voted and then they passed them in and they counted them right in front of you,” Goldfish Vinson said. “So the minutes in-between the voting and then passing them in were so nerve wracking.”

For the next school year – and starting this summer – Goldfish Vinson will network on behalf of FBLA around the state.

“Now that I have been elected vice president I’m pretty much the student face – one of a (handful) – representing the State of Nebraska,” he said. “And I have to go out and visit chapters, I will attend board meetings with the state of Nebraska education system and I come up with new ideas and try to enforce them throughout Nebraska FBLA."

Dlouhy, in her second year advising, noted how proud she is of Herley and Goldfish Vinson. They have made her job extremely rewarding.

“Both Ethan and Andrew have made my job a lot easier, they have taught me so much about FBLA,” she said. “Just being a newer adviser I didn’t know what to expect. But they have stepped into leadership roles in the chapter, and now at the state level, as well, and have taught me more than I ever thought possible.

“… They have impacted me more than they will ever know.”

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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