Business at the Beach: FBLA Members Compete at State Conference in Galveston

Smiling, FBLA officers Sanika Purohit ’24, Shrishti Mahajan ’25, Tori Xiao ’23, and Allen Garcia ’23 pose after returning to Westwood post-competition. (Photo Courtesy of Westwood FBLA)

From Wednesday, March 22 to Friday, March 24, students put their business abilities to the test during the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference in Galveston. The members competed in a mixture of events in various business clusters, ranging from role plays to presentations.  

Competition commenced on Thursday, March 23, when students eagerly shuttled to the Galveston Convention Center to present their role plays, presentations, or take an exam that they had prepared for. Underclassmen in testing events and those who opted out of attending the trip completed their testing at Westwood prior to the conference. 

“The conference ran very smoothly, and members had no issues with their competitions,” FBLA President Allen Garcia ’23 said.

On the final day of the conference, the competitors gathered for the awards ceremony to find out if they advanced for the National Leadership Conference, which will take place this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. With 50 national qualifiers out of the 178 competitors, the chapter saw success.   

“It was super exciting to see our chapter succeed in so many events and to see our members advance to the national level,” FBLA Student Council Representative Shrishti Mahajan ’25 said. 

FBLA members anxiously wait to compete at the Galveston Convention Center and practice their presentations. (Westwood FBLA)

The conference not only fostered an environment for students to excel in business, but it also enabled members to take a break to interact with each other, network with like-minded high schoolers throughout the state, and explore the city of Galveston. 

“My favorite part was conducting room checks and just getting to check in on each person, [seeing] how much each room varied was a blast,” Garcia said. “[The conference] really allowed us to stop for some short conversations.” 

While the conference was a smooth-sailing and successful one for the books, it was initially clouded with uncertainty for chapter members and officers due to abrupt decisions made by the district. Three weeks before the conference, RRISD cut the chapter’s funding for hotels. 

“We worked around it by fundraising with our members to gain more money while not causing additional expenses,” Garcia said. “We also collaborated with RRISD superintendents and the Westwood principal, so that they would support us to make SLC a reality.”

With the officers’ unstaggering efforts and planning, seniors and students competing in presentation events were given the opportunity to attend the conference. FBLA sponsor, English teacher Mr. Drake Clapp, also played an indispensable role in sorting out the logistics of the unprecedented challenges. 

“[Mr. Clapp] has worked endlessly and tirelessly to enable FBLA to compete,” Vice President Tori Xiao ’23 said. 


The following students advanced to the National Leadership Conference: 

Accounting II: David Lee ’23 (4th place)

Advertising: Tori Xiao ’23 (2nd place)

Banking & Financial Systems: Satvik Agarwal ’24, Akhilesh Pissay ’24 (1st place), Bhargav Gadi ’24 (4th place) 

Business Communication: Armaan Srireddy ’23 (3rd place), Lasya Adivi ’23 (4th place)

Business Law: Shalin Lakhia ’24 (1st place)

Business Plan: Sahiti Oruganti ’25 (2nd place) 

Client Service: Grace Zhu ’23 (4th place) 

Computer Applications: Soohyun Ahn ’24 (4th place)

Economics: Kavita Kohli ’23 (4th place) 

Human Resource Management: Suchir Kumar ’25 (1st place) 

Impromptu Speaking: Michelle Huang ’25 (3rd place)

International Business: Iris Chen ’26, Michelle Li ’26, Eileen Wu ’26 (3rd place) 

Introduction to Business Communication: Jenny Yun ’25 (1st place), Elizabeth Hsu ’25

(2nd place), Jatin Aggarwal  ’26 (3rd place) 

Introduction to Business Concepts: Ayan Nagulapally ’26 (1st place), Anushka Gupta ’26

(2nd place), Aanya Ujjval ’26 (5th place) 

Introduction to Business Presentation: Shivani Kondubhatla ’25 (2nd place) 

Introduction to Business Procedures: Anamitra Ghosh ’26 (1st place) 

Introduction to FBLA: Rishitha Balla ’25 (1st place), Sophie Liu ’25 (2nd place) 

Introduction to Financial Math: Yuegelica Yeong ’26 (1st place), Hersh Singh ’26 (4th place),

Krithik Elango ’26 (5th place) 

Introduction to Social Media Strategy: Shrishti Mahajan ’25 (3rd place) 

Journalism: Rifah Mirza ’25 (2nd place) 

Local Chapter Annual Business Report: Harshadha Chaganti ’25, Krishnni Khanna ’25 (4th place) 

Management Information Systems: Jadon Lee ’24, Jayakartheek Puvvada ’24 (1st place), Samhita Guntakala ’26, Josephine Sun ’26 (2nd place) 

Marketing: Kevin Han ’23, Andrew Seo ’23 (2nd place) 

Mobile Application Development: Vishnu Muthuraman ’26 (2nd place) 

Networking Infrastructures: Venthan Dinesh ’23 (3rd place) 

Organizational Leadership: Medha Katragadda ’25 (1st place), Aarohi Bhattacharya ’25 (2nd place) 

Personal Finance: Ryan Lee ’25 (3rd place) 

Political Science: Vishnu Dokka ’24 (4th place) 

Securities & Investments: Vineet Burugu ’24 (3rd place) 

Sports & Entertainment Management: Prithika Chandrasekar ’25, Ava Dasari ’24, Siona Shah ’24 (3rd place) 

Supply Chain Management: Avyay Gupta ’24 (3rd place) 

UX Design: Manika Aggarwal ’23 (5th place) 

Word Processing: Brooke Xu ’24 (2nd place) 

Computer Operating Systems: Druhinh Roy ’24 (1st place), Mahin Naveen ’24 (2nd place), Satvik Agarwal ’24 (5th place) 

Internet Safety: Kaushik Nagarajan ’24 (1st place), Michelle Li ’26 (5th place)