CTSO Student Leaders Gather in Austin

Student Leaders from Texas CTSOs gathered together this week in Austin (January 31-February 2) as they networked, created advocacy items and promoted CTE in Texas. Day One, groups met together for team building where they were able to share facts about their respective CTSOs, and each leadership team led the group in a team building activity with the group. It was amazing to have so many powerful leaders together in one place. Each group represented a different career cluster and pathway but we all came together under Career and Technical Education.

On Day Two, the group traveled to the Capitol where they created Social Media calendars to promote CTE month in Texas and created promotional videos that can be used to advocate for the support of CTE and our programs. Students learned some social media tips and tricks as well as the importance of planning a successful social media campaign. Students were also able to tour the Capitol and enjoyed lunch together at the Capitol Grill. Thursday evening, we hosted guests from the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education for a banquet to celebrate CTE and the power of CTSOs. A former TSA member provided the keynote address and she challenged us that even when we didn’t know where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do that if we followed our passion, we would grow along our continuum and our success would be off the charts.

We wrapped up our week as special guests at the State Board of Education meeting where State Board of Education Chair, Aaron Kinsley, signed a resolution designating February 1-29, 2024 as National Career and Technical Education Month. The resolution recognized the importance of CTE programs and that Texas is proud to support CTE student organizations like Business Professionals of America; DECA Texas Association; Future Business Leaders of America; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; Texas HOSA-Future Health Professionals; SkillsUSA Texas; Texas Association of Future Educators; Texas FFA Association; and Texas Technology Student Association. It was a great experience to network with all of the CTSO leaders from across Texas and to be able to connect with Texas Education Agency and State Board of Education representatives to tell them why we love BPA and the impact that CTE programs have. Our Texas BPA State Officer team (President, Estefania Rico; Vice President, Meghana Chodavarapu; Associate Vice President, Angel Pina; Secretary, Andrea Moreno; Reporter, Anwitha Kumbhan; Historian, Ayush Mudgal; Parliamentarian, Krish Parikh; Sergeant-at-Arms, Nathaniel Perez) did a phenomenal job representing our organization this week and were able to plan and network together. Also attending with the group where State Officer Coordinator, Susan McKrell and State Advisor, Diana Weber.

Be an advocate in your school and for your program by telling your story. The greatest way to make an impact and to ensure that our programs get the funding and support that we need is to be an advocate and promote what you are doing. You can do this just by telling people the impact that BPA has had on your life. The goal of BPA and all CTSOs is the same, to create opportunities to take what you are learning in the classroom and apply them and to provide leadership and networking opportunities for our students. Take advantage of all of the programs and opportunities that BPA has to offer and then share the impact that it makes by giving back through service to your community. That is the power of belonging to BPA. We challenge you to go out there and tell people about it!