Metro Tech Qualifies for the Virtual Business Challenge Competition to be Held at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Nationals

Posted by Community Relations on 11/25/2015

Its becoming a habit, but a good one at that. For the fifth consecutive year, a Metro Tech team has qualified for the Virtual Business Challenge competition to be held at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Nationals in the summer. This year’s team, “The Revengers,” made up of Christian Barrera, Erick Valenzuela and Ahmad Stanikzai, was one of 16 teams to make it to the finals, out of over 400 teams from around the U.S. that began the online competition. They will travel to Atlanta in June for the finals.


Teams have two chances to qualify for the Nationals- a four-week competition in the fall, and another in the spring. To qualify, a team must place in the top eight of either of the month-long events, and it must be first in its state. Metro Tech has qualified at least one team five years in a row, and twice qualified in both the fall and spring competition. Twice, Metro has won the Virtual Business Challenge National title-in 2013 and 2014.


“A very large percentage of the Virtual Business competition is held outside of the class period.  Dedicated students playing the Virtual Business game, come in on their lunch hour, during Advisory class, before and after school to play the game,” Business teacher Francis Bidleman said. “We have already qualified one team for the 2016 summer National Conference in Atlanta.  In the spring we will try to a second.”  

Metro Tech’s many clubs and extracurricular activities were the biggest winners in the Support My Club and Burton Family Foundation flash-funding, receiving approximately $40,000 in donated items.   Christy Burton and Support My Club founder Amy Armstrong and her board piled items on several tables, and handed them out to club members in what looked like a giant Christmas party. Burton and her husband decided to fulfill the requests of every club among 26 low-income high schools posted on the online crowd-finding platform at with a $100,000 donation. There were 3-D printers for the STEM Club, drones for the Physics Club, equipment for the Robotics team; cameras for the Yearbook club, men’s suit jackets and women’s dress shoes for the Mock Trial team, classic motion picture DVDs for the Film Club; registration fees for different conferences, a chess clock for the Chess Team, shin guards for the soccer team and a mascot costume for the cheer squad.  


U.S. Congressman Ruben Gallego, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and City Councilwoman and Phoenix Union Governing Board member Laura Pastor were on hand for the distribution.


“When I was a kid, we always had to do magazine sales, bake sales to raise money, and our teachers usually helped pick up the cost. There was always someone there to help, someone always stepped up. When you invest in young people, you are investing in the future,” Representative Gallego said.


“We know that education is underfunded. We can lament that fact, or we can do something about it. Christy Burton is doing something about it. Her generosity today is a start, for others to follow. The great thing about Support My Club is that investors can give to schools, areas and students, directly,” Mayor Stanton said.

The students will pay it forward, by completing one hour of community service for every $100 of value received. And they’ll be busy writing thank you notes immediately.