Michael Yaroshefsky, a senior at Wayne Valley High School in Wayne, has had to stock up on ties and suits. In the summer of 2007, Yaroshefsky, 18, was elected national president of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), marking the first time an FBLA national president has been elected from New Jersey. The FBLA, based in Reston, VA., is a nonprofit student business organization with more than a quarter million members and advisors worldwide. Yaroshefsky will represent more than 210,000 in the high school division.
Yaroshefsky served two years as the FBLA's New Jersey Webmaster and currently serves as the FBLA's New Jersey state president, a task that already demands a sizable briefcase. The New Jersey organization has some 8,200 members representing 150 high schools. Members work to hone their leadership skills and can choose from over 40 competitive skills events from the areas of technology, public speaking, business, finance, and management. In January 2007, 4,400 state high school students descended on the campus of the Mercer County Community College in West Windsor for the NJ FBLA's regional competitive events.
NJ Next Stop caught up with Yaroshefsky the first week of September 2007 as he headed to the school cafeteria for lunch. He admitted that he has a busy year ahead with high school responsibilities, college hunting, and his FBLA presidencies. Even so, he's up for the challenge. "As a state officer, I always admired the national officers and wondered who are these amazing people and how did they get to their positions," noted Yaroshefsky, who is interested in careers in business, law or medicine. "That's when I applied and went through the election process. Now that I'm here, I'm thinking to myself, ‘Wow, if I can accomplish this then who knows what I'm capable of.'"
Interested in finding out more about the FBLA? Michael urges teens not to be intimidated by the group's business leadership banner. "Never until I got involved in the FBLA did I realize that I have a passion for business," explained Michael. "The FBLA gives you opportunities to challenge yourself in new ways. I joined FBLA and had no idea that it was beyond my school. I knew a couple of kids in the organization and decided to try it out. Now, four years later, I'm leading 200,000 kids in FBLA. That's the magic of the organization. As much as you put in you're going to get out." Spoken like a true future CEO. To find out more about the FBLA, visit www.fbla.org.