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Detroit Lakes students compete at National BPA Conference

Detroit Lakes High School students and Business Professionals of America members Thomas Eckman, Madison Hagen and Mercedes Jesness, in Dallas. Submitted photo

Detroit Lakes High School students and Business Professionals of America (BPA) members Mercedes Jesness, Thomas Eckman and Madison Hagen traveled to Dallas, Texas, May 9-13 to compete with 5,500 top students from across the United States at the 52nd Annual National Leadership Conference, the pinnacle of BPA competition.

All three students scored well in their categories and faced tough competition from across the country. Jesness and Eckman competed in Basic Office Systems while Hagen competed in Human Resource Management and Advanced Interview Skills. There were between 150 and 200 students in each of those categories.

Another member of the Detroit Lakes High School BPA, De Yeon Kim, did not attend the conference but received a National Torch Award for her leadership and community service.

In addition to competing, the students listened to keynote speaker and YouTube star Michelle Poler talk about her journey of 100 Days Without Fear. Poler encouraged the students to face their fears head-on and not wait to chase their dreams. They also took a VIP tour of AT&T Stadium, visited the Dallas World Aquarium and attended breakout sessions on business-related topics. They were accompanied by their advisor, Braeden Hogie.

Travel and registration costs for the students were offset by local businesses, community organizations and private donors.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune as a reporter and magazine editor in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in Detroit Lakes with her husband, Dan, their 4-year-old son and toddler daughter, and their yellow Lab.

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