Business Professionals of America officially open for business


A group of future Business Professionals of America members wait to talk to Mr. Todd Iwema, Business, about club details. Business Professionals of America was an extracurricular that allowed you to compete against other school districts.

Kate Nowicki, Author

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, Business Professionals of America had their second call out meeting of the 2016-2017 school year.

“[Business Professionals of America is] an organization that is designed to help students in the business fields develop business skills and work with each other to create management teams, whether it is for business, communication or computer programming. These skills are not necessarily covered that well in the regular curriculum. [Business Professionals of America] helps students elaborate on [these skills] outside of school,” Kyle Orciuch (11) said.

Business Professionals of America (BPA), currently run by Mr. Todd Iwema, Business, is an extracurricular that allows Lake Central students to compete against other districts in the business field.

“We’ve had national champions, and last year we had 13 [students] qualify for nationals. The year before, 19 [students] qualified for nationals. [I am] making sure that the program doesn’t die because it’s a great experience for kids, and it’s good on their resumes and applications,” Mr. Iwema said.

With 67 competition categories and no additional business classes required, BPA is available to any student interested, and plenty of students are.

“This has been a great start. We actually have averaged somewhere around 40 kids starting out. Out of those 40 kids, 31 of them usually qualify for state, and then anywhere from 13 to 19 [qualify] for nationals. Right now, we’re looking at close to 100 [students who] have signed up or shown interest this year. My biggest goal was to increase the size of the program, and I think having the resource time makes it a bigger advantage for clubs,” Mr. Iwema said.

Business Professionals of America is off to a great start this school year, but it had almost been forgotten a few years ago.

“Mrs. Chavez used to run [BPA, and] it was phenomenal. She was in charge of our whole district at one time, [but] time commitment caused her to not be able to do it. After she announced she was [no longer leading the club], it wasn’t until the next school year that there [was] no one to take over. There’s no way I could let this program die because it’d been doing so well,” Iwema said.

Going on it’s fourth year with the guidance of Mr. Iwema, BPA is off to a strong start with plenty of new faces and new awards to to come.

“It’s a really great program, and it allows people to put some good things on their resumes if they do well,” Orciuch said.