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MMI Preparatory School sophomore Jessica Zheng captured first place at the virtual Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference and will represent MMI at the National Leadership Conference, while sophomore Manal Muhammad and junior Rachael Betz both finished in the top 10.

MMI FBLA State Leadership ConferenceZheng placed first in the Intro to Business Presentation event, Muhammad was eighth in the Intro to Social Media Strategy event and Betz finished 10th in the Journalism event. Zheng, Muhammad, and Betz were among 24 MMI students who advanced to the State Leadership Conference following their performance at the regional competition in December. Due to the pandemic, the State Leadership Conference, which is usually held over the course of three days in Hershey, was completed virtually this year.

Katherine Zucco, MMI instructor and FBLA advisor, said, “Participating in PA FBLA has been especially challenging this year. We managed to keep the enthusiasm for FBLA alive at MMI, and I am very grateful to all the faculty and staff for everything they have done for our students this year to keep their spirits up. As a result, we have so many students who continue to show us how much they value hard work and perseverance, especially when times are tough. I am incredibly proud of all of our students, and I am hopeful that we will see more from them in FBLA in the coming years.”

More than 5,500 students and advisors participate annually in the PA State Leadership Conference. During the event, qualifying students participate in numerous competitive events, attend leadership development seminars, and campaign for state office. Advisors administer the competitive events and participate in professional development seminars.

The National Leadership Conference will also be held virtually this year from June 29 to July 2.

Jessica Zheng is the daughter of Hongzhi and De Zheng of Jim Thorpe. Manal Muhammad is the daughter of Ikram and Alia Muhammad of Mountain Top. Rachael Betz is the daughter of Amy Houm of Tamaqua and Richard Betz of Honesdale.

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