By JUSTIN YEH
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) welcomed Ian Calderon as a guest speaker for its Government Awareness Project during lunch at the media center on Friday, Feb. 2.
As the first millennial elected into the state Legislative Assembly and the youngest Democratic Majority Leader, Calderon provided a firsthand account of why he entered politics and the importance of students exercising their political voices.
Adviser Christina Rouw hopes that the event inspired students to start participating in their local government.
“[Attending Calderon’s speech] was a great opportunity for young people to get involved in politics and their community,” Rouw said. “[Calderon’s effort] to reach out to people who are right on the edge of being able to vote is smart.”
Last year, Vice President of Projects sophomore Shiny Weng took the first step toward completing the Government Awareness Project by emailing local officials to ask legislators to appear as guest speakers.
The Project aims to keep government officials informed about the benefits of FBLA, and those who participate will receive a ribbon of recognition at the state conference in April.
According to Weng, planning in advance contributed to the success of the event.
“I started preparing for this event in December, because I [knew] it would take longer for [people like] local officials to respond,” Weng said. “Hopefully, local legislators will start supporting young, [aspiring] business leaders in our [club].”
After listening to Calderon, president senior Ying Yang learned more about the necessity of understanding politics.
“This experience taught me that actively participating in the government is really important,” Yang said. “If you do not let your voice be heard, then your future will be in the hands of other people who may not know what is best for our generation.”
FBLA’s next event is the Southern Section Leadership Conference on Saturday, Feb. 10.