The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

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Club to career pipelines run through Bowie

A look into clubs and organizations that lead to careers and community for students
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Alex Edwards
HOT ONES: Assistant Principal Hector Munoz bites into a hot chicken wing during a Business Professionals of America fund raiser. Hot Ones was a fund raiser put on by BPA to raise funds for travel and competition expenses for the year.

Sophomore Emily Sturzl stands tall as she accepts her award as a state semifinalist for junior prepared public speaking at the 95th Texas Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention in Dallas, Texas. Sturzl knows that happiness and pride she feels wouldn’t be possible without her friends and other members of the FFA.

FFA is a national organization where students are able to raise animals, study agriculture, and compete in a variety of categories. The organization also allows for students to take up leadership positions, such as Struzl who is Bowie FFA’s Student Advisor.

“Because you can travel around and meet new people,” Struzl said. “FFA opens up your perspective and can change your way of thinking. It really does change your morals. You also learn life skills like leadership and public speaking along with raising livestock which is really interesting.”

One major resource that Bowie’s FFA has is an actual farm on campus. Just beyond the softball and baseball fields, the farm is home to many different kinds of animals leading students to gain hands-on experience.

“I joined FFA because I came from an agricultural background and grew up around it,” Sturzl said. “In FFA, there are leadership and speaking opportunities, but also opportunities for students that want to raise animals. The memories you make with the people and animals really do last a lifetime.”

Bowie’s FFA was recently taken over by Agriculture teacher Kaitlyn Platt, who was a part of her high school’s FFA and knows first-hand its effects on students.

“I think the students that truly get involved in FFA leave here with amazing leadership skills,” Platt said. “It really helps students gain skills and discover what they are passionate about, even if it’s not specific to agriculture. I’ve seen students transform from being really shy to not being afraid to talk to people and I think that has a lot to do with this organization.”

I’ve seen students transform from being really shy to not being afraid to talk to people and I think it has a lot to do with this organization.

— Kaitlyn Platt , Agriculture Teacher /FFA sponsor

Like FFA, Society of Women Engineers is another national organization that promotes a career to students. Society of Women Engineers is a club that helps connect female students interested in engineering with resources. One of the things the club does is bring in guest speakers to give advice to club members.

“Hearing from guest speakers and working engineers really allowed me to rethink what type of engineering I wanted to do,” senior Emma Munsinger said. “I got to see their experiences and that has been really useful to me in the long run. The club was also a handy thing to put on my college applications.”

Society of Women Engineers is not the only organization that gives students experience in STEM fields however. Another club that gives students opportunities in these fields is the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club. HOSA is a way that students can learn more about the medical field in order to gain experience and become employed.

“I joined HOSA because after college I plan to become a PA and follow along the pathway of health science,” senior HOSA vice president Hannah Merkel said. “HOSA gives you  really meaningful experiences that you can add to your resume and offers an amazing community of high schoolers also wanting to become future healthcare providers.”

Bowie has many opportunities for students seeking to enter the medical field including a Health Science Practicum class where students can earn a Certified Medical Assistant license while still in school. These courses can give students certification, while HOSA can give students connections and knowledge about different medical fields.

“HOSA opens up plenty of opportunities for scholarships and networking in the healthcare field,” Merkel said. “What I’ve learned in this organization will benefit my future in more ways than I can count. HOSA has taught me how to work with a team, life saving skills, and most of all how to work hard and follow your career pathway.”

One benefit of being part of a national organization beyond having resources, is having opportunities to put on events. Clubs such as Business Professionals of America (BPA) utilize fundraisers to pay for certain expenses. Hot Ones was an event where students were able to pay one dollar to vote for two teachers to face off and eat increasingly hot chicken wings until one teacher gave up.

For me, this club has allowed me to build myself as a person and as a leader. I’ve become much more confident.

— Ryleigh Carrasco , Junior /BPA vice president

“BPA also helps with learning how to organize and market events through fundraisers like Hot Ones,” junior BPA vice president Ryleigh Carrasco said. “We were able to raise funds for travel to competitions and leadership conferences. When we travel, we meet people from all over. It’s a really fun experience to bond while still learning and developing new skills.”

Each summer, BPA puts on camps for members of different chapters. BPA’s camp lasts for three days and aims to teach students basic office procedures, etiquette, and speaking skills.

“Camp was a really wonderful opportunity for our team,” Carrasco said. “Not only did we gain new knowledge but we also made new friendships with the Texas BPA State Officers and Chapters. For me, it has allowed me to build myself as a person and as a leader. Through BPA I have learned how to better work in teams and handle myself as a leader.”

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