Niles Antos headed to national competition
By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- With a few years of experience under his belt, Niles High School student Geoff Antos has high hopes for his participation in an upcoming national business competition.
The Niles High School junior will be the lone representative from Niles at the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in Cincinnati from April 27 to May 1.
He qualified for nationals by finishing second in three competitions, C++ Programming, Administrative Support Concepts and Information Technology Concepts, at the state level in March.
Business Professionals of America (BPA) is an organization whose mission is to help prepare students to be part of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic, and technological skills.
Niles High School business teacher and BPA advisor Michele Clement said student involvement in the BPA program is a great tool to help young people ready themselves for the real world.
In addition to the competitions, the BPA conferences have seminars and speakers to help students. In past years, the speakers have helped in areas such as effective public speaking and having a smooth transition from high school to college life.
With a class schedule that includes advanced placement courses in calculus, physics and U.S. history and a college level accounting class, Antos is already preparing for life beyond high school.
Right now, Antos is not sure which college he will pursue, but he plans to study computer engineering and expressed an interest in schools such as MIT and Michigan Tech.
April's national competition will mark Antos' third trip to nationals. He was an alternate his freshmen year and finished just outside the top 10 in C++ Programming last year.
He said his involvement in BPA has been a great experience thus far.
With the top three finishers from each state qualifying for the competition, Antos will be facing a large number of competitors.
The C++ Programming event is comprised of a test and a hands-on element in which the students must write a computer program.
The other two events, Administrative Support Concepts and Information Technology Concepts, are both open test taking events in which anyone who qualifies for nationals may participate.
With the pressure of competing in three separate events, Antos remains pretty cool about the upcoming national competition.
Clement said when students like Antos have been participating in the BPA competitions for years they are more prepared for what the next competition has in store for them. She said students become more comfortable in the competitive atmosphere and learn what types of things the judges are looking for.
Niles High School had seven students participate in the state competition in Grand Rapids in early March. The competition was attended by more than 2,000 students competing in over 60 events.
In addition to Antos' second place finish, Matt Molnar, Rachel Gibson, Claire Isabell had a seventh place finish in the Financial Analysis Team competition.