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High School East FBLA student Sofia Manzo

High School North FBLA Alexa Sousa and Natalie Rapciewicz

first place at FBLA for business plan
At the NJ FBLA State Leadership Conference last week, High School East's Sofia Manzo (left) finished in the top 10 in the Job Interview category; High School North's Alexa Sousa and Natalie Rapciewicz took second place in Sales Presentation (center); and East's Mason Kaleda and Jack Hesslein earned first place in the coveted Business Plan category, with the hardware to prove it (above). And that's just some of the success Toms River Regional Schools FBLA students enjoyed. More below.

March 13, 2023-- Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) students representing each district high school competed at the state leadership conference last week. Here are their results, which include a first-place finish, several top 10s, and some truly innovative business plans.

High School East

  • Mason Kaleda and Jack Hesslein (right): 1st place, Business Plan; qualified for Nationals in Atlanta, GA (business plan was for an e-waste refurbishment and recycling business)
  • Sofia Manzo: Top 10, Job Interview (interview was in two parts for an HR internship)
  • Michael Bruno, Joseph Scala, and Joseph Rome: Competed in Financial Plan
  • Maxwell Bell: Competed in Public Service Announcement

High School South

  • Joshua Rhine (right): Competed in Coding and Programming (developed an app called Rhino Roll Call that would track student participation in sport and club activities)
  • Emma Italiano: Competed in Digital Animation (created an animated advertisement for the iPhone 14)
  • Logan Redgrave and Declan Sennick: Competed in E-Business (created Bed and Breakfast in Gore Mountain, targeted at local skiers and adventure enthusiasts)

High School North 

  • Natalie Rapciewicz and Alexa Sousa: 2nd place, Sales Presentation
  • Andreas Psillos: Top 10, Supply Chain Management
  • Gabriella Kostova and Kaitlyn Rizzo: Competed in Social Media Strategies
  • Lana Hayes, Angela Pontipiedra, and Shahaan Gurm: Competed in Broadcast Journalism
  • School awarded the Gold Seal Chapter of Merit
  • School awarded “Higher with Attire” Community Service Project Award (students collected 427 donations of business clothing from staff and community, providing to Catholic Charities Providence House and Just Believe Boutique for the homeless and disenfranchised in Ocean County)
  • School awarded 5th place: Passport of Progress (recognition for middle school outreach, charity fundraiser benefiting Ocean's Harbor House, volunteering with Hope Sheds Light, etc.)
  • School awarded 3rd place: Community Service Challenge (conducting more than 50 hours of community service)
  • School awarded National Recognition as a “Champion Charter” (exceptional membership engagement on focused challenges, as HSN participated in more than half of the proposed comprehensive team activities, with only 14 NJ chapters recognized in this category among 500 nationwide)

Additional photos from the New Jersey FBLA State Leadership Conference are below. Congratulations to our district's future business stars!

Mason Kaleda and Jack Hesslein

High School East's Mason Kaleda (right) and Jack Hesslein (left) e-waste business plan earned them first place.

Joshua and Grace Rhine

Joshua and Grace Rhine represented High School South.

group shot of FBLA students

High School North's contingent of FBLA students walked away from the state leadership conference happy and proud.