Bound for Business Professionals of America greatness
Staff Writer | April 7, 2021 1:00 AM
An Idaho Technical Career Academy freshman will show off her professional knowledge and skills in the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in May.
Hannah Zeilstra, of Rathdrum, is one of only five ITCA students who qualified at the state level for the national BPA competition.
A plethora of categories challenge the skills of students as they prove their understanding of concepts like advanced office systems and procedures, desktop publishing and medical terminology. Hannah schooled her opponents at the virtual state contest when she was tested on business law and ethics.
"It was crazy, especially to be No. 1. I just wanted to qualify," Hannah said Tuesday. "It was a great feeling. I studied a lot for it, and for it to pay off was great."
Hannah, who previously went to Canfield Middle School, enrolled in ITCA because of the uncertainties COVID wreaked on traditional schooling. ITCA is a fully online, tuition-free charter high school with a focus on career and college readiness, which aligns with Hannah's goals of pursuing a career as a sports agent.
"Everything was so weird with everything happening and a lot of people were doing online schools anyway," she said. "If I was going to do online school, I wanted to do it with them."
It was through ITCA that Hannah discovered BPA, an organization that develops and empowers student leaders to find their passions and change the world by creating opportunities in learning, professional growth and service. More than 45,000 high school and college students across 25 states and Puerto Rico participate in BPA.
"It’s fun. The advisers who run it are all really nice," Hannah said. "I’m taking a business class too, and I’m learning stuff I learned through BPA in that class. I definitely feel like I've learned a lot more."
Hannah will compete in a virtual setting during the National Leadership Conference May 5 through 9.
"I'm excited for it," she said.