2019 National Leadership Conference

Adairsville FBLA students compete in San Antonio


It may not have gone the way they wanted, but two Adairsville High Future Business Leaders of America members experienced an event not every FBLA member gets to experience.  

After coming in fourth place at the state conference, recent graduates Emma Martin and Avery McDowell competed in the Digital Video Production category for the first time at the 2019 National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas, last week.

While they presented in the preliminary round of the competition, the two video producers didn’t make it to the final round.  

“I am very proud that they made it to nationals,” AHS FBLA adviser Melissa Womack said. “The competition was very tough. They did great for attending for the first time.”

Womack said Martin and McDowell’s 2-minute, 18-second video entry on Giving Tuesday was judged before they arrived at nationals. 

“At the conference, they had to make a presentation to a panel of two judges,” she said. “This presentation described their planning and design process for creating the video. The video itself was also embedded in the presentation.”

Martin, who turns 18 in two weeks, said it had “always been my dream” to go to nationals, but “sadly, my expectations were not met.” 

“I wish things turned out better for us,” she said. “Sadly, we didn’t have the best luck when it came to who our judges were. I felt that our performance was good, could have definitely been better. But I put my all into it.”

While she knew they could’ve improved their presentation, Martin said she still was “very disappointed in the way we were treated by the judges.” 

“After we performed, I had a feeling that we weren’t going to move on to finals,” she said, noting she was “very excited to be there” after three years of trying. “It made me very sad, but I wasn’t hard on myself. I went to nationals to do what I had to do, and I feel in my heart I gave this project everything I had from Day One in August.” 

Despite the outcome, Womack, who wasn’t allowed to watch the preliminary performances, said she “couldn't have been more proud” of the duo.

“They worked so hard to get there,” she said.

The adviser said this year also was her first time attending the national conference.

“It was a great learning experience,” she said. “I took a lot of notes for next year. I am looking forward to having students attend again.”

Rising sophomore Kylie Clay also attended as a non-competitor, Womack said.

“She attended to gain valuable knowledge and experience as she is the incoming president of FBLA for the next school year,” she said. “This experience was invaluable to her as she will be assuming her first FBLA leadership position.”

Womack said the girls had several businesses that helped sponsor their trip to San Antonio and a lot of help from AHS administrators, staff, students and athletic director in getting the video filmed. 

“There was a lot of coordinating and filming during and after the school day,” she said. “It couldn't have happened without their help, understanding and support. It was truly a group effort.”

Martin said she will continue pursuing her interest in video production by working on a degree in film and digital media with a concentration in editing and producing at the University of North Georgia.

“And I will soon start working in the film industry on as many projects as possible,” she said. 
McDowell and Martin’s video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_8YJr_IeIw&feature=youtu.be.