Phi Beta Lambda student wins spot in national competition
Erika Rolle, an Honors College student, has earned a spot in the Phi Beta Lambda impromptu speaking competition that will be held in Anaheim, California during the group’s National Leadership Conference for future business leaders June 24-27.
Rolle is advancing to the national competition after winning second place in March in the PBL state competition in Orlando. Phi Beta Lambda is the collegiate division of Future Business Leaders of America.
At the state level, students participate in competitive activities in numerous categories, testing their business knowledge and skills. The top two winners in each category are then eligible to compete at the national level. Rolle says she went up against more than a dozen students from colleges and universities, including the University of Florida, the University of Miami and the University of Central Florida, to claim the second-place spot. She is the only student among the eight who attended from Palm Beach State to win a top spot.
“We are all very proud of Erika and students in our business club,’’ said Dr. Roger Blair, a business professor and advisor for Phi Beta Lambda. “This is a solid demonstration of how effectively student business club activities can further the career of its members.”
In the competition, contestants were given four minutes to speak in a room with three judges after receiving a topic prompt that centered on their personal motto. Rolle said she can’t believe she won, but she is excited. “I’m actually very surprised, and I’m very proud because this is my first semester participating in Phi Beta Lambda. I never competed ever, and suddenly I’m going to national,’’ she said.
Rolle is pursuing an A.A. degree with plans to graduate this summer and then transfer to the University of Central Florida to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business. The Bahamas native who graduated from Maritime Science and Technology Academy in Miami, said because of finances, she has been forced to scale back on the number of classes she takes each term number and work to help pay for her education. Since she has taken fewer classes each semester, she currently has more time to get engaged in college activities and organizations. She says that her participation is also intentional so that she doesn’t feel cheated out of a full college experience if her schedule gets more hectic with work and school when she transfers to a university. “I may not have the kind of time I have right now,’’ she said.
In addition to PBL, she is a Student Government Association officer, secretary of the Honors College and president of Equal Quality Unites All Lives (E.Q.U.A.L). She also serves on the Brain Bowl team and is a writer for the Beachcomber student newspaper.
Since math is one of her strengths and she enjoys her campus job as a math tutor, said she is planning to one day use her academic training to open her own tutoring business.