By Jean Clark
Would you believe that a 16-year-old boy would rather read books about economics and politics than play video games or watch TV? Jake Campbell of Pleasant Hill, a rising junior at Cumberland County High School, has such lofty interests.
He is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at the high school. FBLA is a national club with a quarter million membership of students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields. The club's primary goal is to create more interest in and a better understanding of American business enterprise. The FBLA concept was developed in 1937 by Dr. Hamden L. Forkner of Columbia University and the first high school chapter was chartered in Johnson City Feb. 3, 1942. Kacee Harris is the sponsor of the local CCHS FBLA chapter.
Campbell likes humanities and became interested in the field of economics when he decided to become a stock investor. He was inspired to join the club by his personal finance teacher Judy York, who also sponsors the DECA/Delta Epsilon Chi Club (which focuses more on marketing and services).
Having read Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell, Campbell decided to enter the regional FBLA competition. Regionals were held on the Harriman Roane State campus this February. CCHS had a good showing, with four of the five competitors placing at the top. They were Austin Brown (first in client service), Campbell (first in economics), Caroline Cravens and Hannah Tyring (second in entrepreneurship).
This qualified them to compete at the State Leadership Convention, a three-day event held in the Chattanooga Conference Center that included speakers, workshops and council elections. Campbell placed second, which qualifies him to compete in the nationals in Anaheim, CA, June 25.
When asked how he will prepare for a test on economics, Campbell replied that he will take practice tests, but that the best strategy is to read masterpieces and focus on his flaws. There will be more than 140 competitors from 46 states represented at the National Leadership Conference, with three from each state.
Campbell’s father, Jerry, is a retired deputy police chief of Morraine, OH, who was born in Pleasant Hill. His mother, Michele, is a fourth-grade teacher at Pleasant Hill Elementary School, also from Ohio. The whole family is excited about the trip to Anaheim because they will be taking a train to see the West.
Campbell is the senior patrol leader of Boy Scout Troop 170, a saxophonist, amateur historian and fiction writer. He is an avid Libertarian and member of the Young Republicans Club. He won the State Celebrate Literacy writing competition six times and has been the top speller in Cumberland County twice. Campbell is considering attending Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, where he will most likely major in economics or political science. He hopes to win a political office one day.
Pleasant Hill is proud of Campbell and eagerly awaits news from the National Leadership Convention.
On Saturday, June 15, from 4 to 6 p.m., the Pleasant Hill Cemetery Advisory Board will hold a fund-raising supper in the Pleasant Hill Community House. The menu will consist of pulled barbecue pork, baked beans, coleslaw, drink and dessert. Tickets are $10 donation and will benefit both Pleasant Hill cemeteries. For more information, contact Jack Martin at 287-3479.