BPA chapters compete in event

200 students take part in regional contest

CHAMPION — The local chapters of Business Professionals of America from area career and technical centers competed at the regional event held at Kent State University at Trumbull.

Kris Doran, instructor of interactive multimedia at Trumbull Career and Technical Center, said 200 students from TCTC, Mahoning Career and Technical Center and Columbiana Career and Technical Center, competed for five hours in software engineering, cyber security, computer networking, interactive multimedia, visual design and web design.

Doran said the top-placing students will qualify to attend and compete at the Ohio BPA State Leadership Conference March 14 and 15, those who advance from state will compete at the BPA National Leadership Conference May 1 to 6 in Anaheim, California.

BPA is the premier career and technical student organization for students pursuing careers in business management, information technology, finance, office administration, and other related career fields.

Hunter Ciriello, a senior from Niles and TCTC in computer networking, said he was part of the network design team that had to write a business proposal to a bank on how it could improve its rate structure.

“At first, the competition was a little nerve-wracking, but after it got started, I felt confident,” he said.

Both juniors and seniors competed at the event.

Alexis White, a 2018 graduate of TCTC in computer networking, said she returned this year as a mentor. When she was a student, she made it to nationals in Dallas.

“Returning made me miss being in BPA. I enjoyed competing and traveling to the competitions,” she said.

Doran said the juniors who are new to the competition get to see what it is like.

“You can tell them as much as you can about, but they really need to experience it to see what it is all about,” he said.

Charles Kaczmark of Girard and Gavin Wright, both in visual design, said the event showed them what the state and national events would be like.

They had to do a six minute presentation and explanation of work in their category.

Kaczmark said he explained how they created their project.

Rachel Gorman, a senior in interactive multimedia, said she attended last year, so she knew what to expect.

“You see and know what to expect from the judges. They give you feedback,” she said, noting she’s planning a career in the media field.

Trinity Hobbs, a senior from McDonald and TCTC in interactive multimedia, said she was able to relax and get out of her comfort zone, which helped her.

“Taking part in this event will help me grow. Working with others helped also,” she said.