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Two Williams students return from business confab with trophy
Williams High students Kelsie Alvernaz and Ely Puentes returned home from the national Future Business Leaders of America convention carrying some hardware.
The pair captured eighth place in the desktop publishing and graphic design category.
"Kelsie and Ely produced marketing materials for a barbecue restaurant scenario, which were submitted for preconference judging," FBLA adviser Pam Stalley reported.
"Upon arrival at the (convention), they both took a written test on knowledge of the principles of desktop publishing (and) graphic design," Stalley added. "When the top 10 finalists were announced, the Williams team was invited to the stage, bringing home trophies for eighth place in the highly competitive event."
Alvernaz and Puentes came to the event as the California champions in the category, winning that title in Irvine in April.
"FBLA has brought me amazing opportunities I never would have dreamed we could experience. Making it all the way to San Antonio, Texas, and going to nationals was a huge honor," Alvernaz said. "It felt good to represent California and bring back a trophy. In addition to the top 10 honors, my 18th birthday was Sunday and spending it in Texas walking along the Riverwalk and touring the Alamo capped off a time I will never forget."
Puentes added, "Having been in FBLA for four years was an experience like none other. Placing at state in our event was amazing. Winning first place in California was unreal because since I was a freshman, I had always wanted to attend the National Conference and now I have had the opportunity to go and represent my school and state.
"The whole time we were experiencing the conference, Kelsie and I just wanted to make it to the top 10 and we ended up taking home the eighth-place award. Kelsie and I make such a great team because we both have the same vision for our designs."
Alvernaz and Puentes are not the first Williams High students to make a mark in FBLA competitions — and Puentes is not the first in her family.
Miguel Puentes was a winner in Spreadsheet Applicaton category in 2010, and Alyssa Stalley was the national and state champion in the State Chapter Annual Business Report Competition in 2008.
Several community businesses and individuals pitched in to cover the cost of sending the girls back to Texas. "We were overwhelmed by the community support," Pam Stalley said. "These two students went above and beyond, and we are so proud of them."
Also attending the event were Stalley, and Kara and Danielle Alvernaz, Kelsie's mother and sister, respectively.