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      Business Professionals competition comes to Escanaba

      They're today's students, but many of them aspire to be the future's business professionals. On Friday they journeyed from 11 schools across the U.P. to be at Bay College for the 37th annual Business Professionals of America's Regional Leadership Conference.

      These Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District students have had about a month to rewrite a business plan for a sporting goods store. Their business teacher helped them with last-minute preparations before they presented to the judges.

      ??I hope to win something actually,?? says Delta-Schoolcraft ISD student Milinda McNailly. ??But I??m pretty confident me and my team member will do well."

      Her team member agreed.

      ??I really like working with other people and being able to present in front of judges," says ISD senior Karissa Rudden.

      They say it was their coach who inspired and gave them confidence. She says it was a learning opportunity for her as well.

      ??It is very fulfilling,?? explains Delta-Schoolcraft ISD Business Teacher, Gayle DeShambo. ??I love to teach. I love my students. And I??m so proud of them that they are willing to put themselves out there in front of people that they don't know."

      From banking and finance to advanced word processing skills and even video production, the students spent the day competing against their peers.

      The judges say there isn't any monetary award given for placing in this prestigious competition. However, winning does bring a sense of pride and accomplishment. It also looks very good on job and college applications.

      ??I've got a student who competed in the medical concepts competition probably 10 years ago,?? says Regional Advisor, Lee Rometti. ??She's now teaching at Harvard. I think that the students who excel here go on and excel in life."

      The students who win Friday will go on to compete in the state competition in Grand Rapids in March.