Clewiston student wins Phi Beta Lambda contest

LAKE WORTH — Four Palm Beach State College (PBSC) students each placed in the top 10 in national Phi Beta Lambda competitions, including one who brought home a first-place prize.

They were among more than 1,400 students from colleges and universities across the country who attended this year’s Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference June 24-27 in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to participating in workshops, they tested their business acumen in 61 competitive events. Only the top 10 winners were recognized in the competitions that each drew up to 50 contestants or more.

Joshua Deese of Clewiston and Thomas DeVito won $700 first-place and $200 second-place awards, respectively, in the Justice Administration contest, which included an objective test on criminal justice laws and policies. Adrian Stephenson, a client services manager in the IT department at PBSC who received his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in information management from the college and is currently pursuing an MBA from Western Governors University, won sixth place in the Help Desk contest. It included an objective test and a presentation. Magdala St. Fleur, who received her Bachelor of Applied Science in supervision and management last May and will pursue a master’s degree in human resources at Lynn University this fall, won 10th place in the Client Services competition. She presented customer service strategies for attracting or maintaining customers based on assigned business or business product scenarios.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Dr. Jehu Chong, a PBSC professor and Phi Beta Lambda club advisor (fourth from left) with students, from left to right, Thomas DeVito, Alejandra Solana, Magdala St Fleur, Adrian Stephenson and Joshua Deese.

Phi Beta Lambda is the collegiate division of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Mr. Deese, who was active in FBLA as a youth, said winning first place at the national conference is a dream come true. Last year, he won sixth place in the Entrepreneurship Concepts contest.

“I have been in this organization since I was in middle school. Winning first place at the national conference has always been a dream of mine. It was great to see this come full circle,’’ said Mr. Deese, who earned his Associate in Arts degree from PBSC last December. He is taking an additional course at the college this summer as he prepares to transfer to the University of California Riverside this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in public policy. He eventually plans to run for public office.

Dr. Jehu Chong, a professor in the bachelor’s degree programs and Phi Beta Lambda advisor, said he could not be prouder of his team that competed at the national level after placing at the top in district and state competitions.

“They’re going up against the best of the best from each state,’’ said Dr. Chong, who also participated in the organization in college and high school. “I am so proud of their accomplishments. As they go on to their next endeavors, I want them to be able to take what they’ve learned in these competitions and apply it in their work life and pay it forward.”

Mr. DeVito, who completed his A.A. degree in May and whose long-term goal is to become a Coast Guard JAG officer, said they prepared throughout the school year. “My fellow members and I really worked hard.”

For more information about Phi Beta Lambda or to join, contact Dr. Chong at chongj@palmbeachstate.edu.

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