Corman named state’s FBLA vice president, becomes first Bellefonte student to have a state role
Calling himself a “nerd,” Bellefonte Area High School junior Davis Corman said he ran on a campaign for state FBLA vice president that showed he could relate to others, while also how serious he was about the position. Having been the only candidate to run opposed, Corman said he believed it was his attitude that gave him the advantage.
“I think my personality skills are a strength that allows me to better connect with people in a relatable, yet professional way,” he said. “It was pretty nerve-wracking, and I was up against an opponent who was also a really great kid. But it wasn’t about losing so much as it was about putting so much effort into something I didn’t want wasted.”
While at the FBLA state competition April 11-13, Corman set up a booth and campaigned with accompanying hashtags such as #NerdPower and #WeNeedTheNerd that aimed to attract the attention of others. He also made a goal to be present for his constituents rather than just sticking to social media, and added that he couldn’t have gotten to where he is without people such as faculty adviser Rebecca Leitzell, and friend and classmate Kate Rarrick.
The process to run for a state seat began in January, and included filing an application, collecting letters of recommendation, filling out various essay responses and going through a review board. That, Corman said, was just to be eligible to put his name on the ballot. By March, and with a $500 budget, he planned his campaign that was unveiled at the April FBLA conference, where he was able to meet with his peers, talk about the issues that are important to him and the FBLA community, and go through the final vote that elected him vice president for a one-year term.
Now, immersed in the role, Corman said he’s focused on several things, including FBLA recruitment. According to Pennsylvania FBLA, prior to the pandemic, more than 13,000 students from across the commonwealth were involved in the program. Currently, that number is estimated at 8,500.
“It took 50 years’ worth of work to increase that kind of involvement and was erased due to COVID,” Corman said. “I want to be able to get into schools, see what’s working and what isn’t, and meet with people to help bring back up those numbers. I don’t want to put a number on the goal, but I look at it like, if we can get back to hosting (the state competition) in the Giant Center, then I’ll be happy.”
That, Corman explained, will be an indication that numbers are increasing for students joining FBLA due to the size of the arena. This year, it was hosted at the Hershey Lodge, which can accommodate a lesser crowd. Additionally, he said he’s exploring options on the potential of creating an FBLA club at Bellefonte Area Middle School that will help sixth- through eighth-grade students in their transition to the high school’s FBLA.
Having also been the president of the Bellefonte chapter of FBLA and Region 14, Corman said there are a plethora of benefits the club provides students, which include working with faculty and peers, meeting new friends, immersing oneself in the business part of academics, and learning other soft skills important for the real world such as networking and communication.
Corman is now preparing for other FBLA endeavors. A five-day event is coming up this summer in Chicago for the National Leadership Conference, followed by meeting quarterly with other members, executives and board of directors. There are also a variety of leadership workshops and travel opportunities to meet with schools and students in Pennsylvania.
“I want to study business in college, so this is a passion and avenue I wanted to pursue to the max,” he said. “Joining was kind of on a whim, but it’s been one of the best things I could have done. The opportunities and people I get to meet and work with are priceless, and now I can continue that in this new role. I got the FBLA bug and hope it wears off on others for the better.”
*By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD