Briar Woods High School FBLA Comfort Cases Project Wins National Award

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Congratulations to the FBLA Chapter at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Virginia!

Briar Woods Future Business Leaders of America chose Comfort Cases as their service project for the second year in a row. They won first place in the state competition last month and just placed 6th in the country at the national competition in San Antonio, Texas.

Chapter President Suzy Pak said they wanted to support Comfort Cases because of the values the organization holds. “For me specifically, I saw the urgency in the matter at hand and found sincerity and trustworthiness in Rob and Reece Scheer,” she added.

In addition to Pak, the Briar Woods FBLA team of 126 members was led by Vice President Tamana Murshidi, Treasurer Peter Nwachukwu, Secretary Rhea Kalluri, Reporter Namitha Kappa, and Historian Sid Voddopali. Pak, Murshidi, and Nwachukwu represented the team at the national competition.

They started the project in the fall in partnership with the Broadlands Community Outreach. Members also asked fellow student groups, FBLA chapters at other area schools, and the local community for help with gathering items. They handed out flyers at the Broadlands Car Show, set up bulletin boards in the hallways, and one student even reached out to his dentist who was happy to donate 50 toothbrush kits.

Collection boxes were distributed to all of the schools, community centers, and local businesses that agreed to serve as drop-off points for donations.

In order to raise awareness of their project and get a feel for what youth in foster care experience, chapter members carried their books around school in trash bags for a day. They explain more in this video.

While working on the project, the FBLA team were also invited to participate in the ACTE reception on Capitol Hill. They were joined by Comfort Cases founder Rob Scheer and Broadlands Community Outreach as they met with Senator Tim Kaine.

L to R: Tamana Murshidi, Sid Voddopali, Rhea Kalluri, Namitha Kappa, Senator Tim Kaine, Suzy Pak, Rob Scheer, Peter Nwachukwu

L to R: Tamana Murshidi, Sid Voddopali, Rhea Kalluri, Namitha Kappa, Senator Tim Kaine, Suzy Pak, Rob Scheer, Peter Nwachukwu

With the help of the community, the Briar Woods FBLA chapter was able to pack 430 Comfort Cases and they donated several boxes of additional items as well.

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After winning the state competition in Virginia, Briar Woods FBLA went on to San Antonio for the national competition where they placed 6th out of 120 schools that made the finals.

“I think what led to our success was the honest love that we had for our work. The officer team and our advisors were truly passionate about all the help we were able to bring about. We were excited to be able to be a part of something much bigger than any of us individually,” said Pak.

“The strength of our community is connected so much in how we give,” said Comfort Cases founder Rob Scheer. “FBLA has shown us how they are leading by example.”

Pak graduated Briar Woods and is off to New York City to attend Pace University’s honors college in the fall. Her goal is to become a pediatric psychiatrist, focusing on developmental disorders. The other two presenting officers, Tamana Murshidi and Peter Nwachukwu, will continue to represent Briar Woods FBLA as seniors… and they’re already working on next year’s project.

Future Business Leaders of America is a non-profit organization that helps high school students prepare for careers in business through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs. The High School Division of FBLA has over 5,200 chapters in 47 states.

Dana McKayComment