Corbin’s own Lauren Shackleford was among the many high school students in the area who were left disappointed by the fact that the 2019-2020 school year had to be cut short this past spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. An accomplished bowler, she has unfortunately had to miss out on what would have been some major competitions at the lanes recently, and not being able to enter the classroom since March has generally made things difficult for this soon-to-be senior Redhound.
However, despite all the setbacks Shackleford has still managed to gain some national recognition recently, securing a runner-up finish in this year’s National Future Business Leaders of America Leadership Conference. The FBLA’s 2020 national conference was originally scheduled to take place at the end of last month in Salt Lake City, Utah, but the decision was made to move to a virtual format due to the lingering threat of the coronavirus.
Shackleford went up against over 200 other students in the Business Communications category of the online competition, and her test scores were good enough to earn her second place overall. This award follows first place finishes in Business Communications and Community Service Project at the FBLA Regional Conference in March, and another first place finish in Business Communications at the Kentucky State FBLA Leadership Conference.
Since the state conference was held after school closures due to COVID-19 this past spring, it too was conducted totally online. Shackleford also received a fourth place finish in the Community Service Project category at state. Her project was a bowling tournament that she organized as part of the Rogers Scholars program. Shackleford said the tournament “provided an opportunity for kids who aren’t typically able to participate in sports.”
As for her runner-up finish at nationals, Shackleford said, “It was very exciting. I would have preferred to be there in person, but this was certainly better than nothing.”
Shackleford said that she plans to continue participating in FBLA as a senior at CHS, adding, “FBLA has personally challenged me, and has offered real-world learning experiences outside of the classroom. I welcome the opportunity to expand my leadership position in the club, and I hope to help the chapter at my school grow so that it can offer other students the same opportunities that I have had.”
Shackleford went on to thank her advisors for helping to make this achievement possible, and she spoke about her hopes for the coming school year, saying, “I want to get back to in-person classes, and actually have a senior year. So much of school, and FBLA, is about the personal interactions and opportunities. I look forward to being able to apply to colleges, and for scholarships.”
In 2021, Shackleford will have to participate in another area of FBLA competition, as students who win awards in a particular category are required to select a different category the following year. This is done to prevent any one student from being able to dominate the same competition from year-to-year, and also to encourage learning and participation across a broad range of business-related fields.
As of now, Shackleford’s runner-up finish at FBLA Nationals is the highest placement in school history.
After high school, Shackleford said she plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering, and then go on to pursue an MBA.