VGCC A Member's Reflection

By:  Diane Power

For whatever reason, I feel the need to write to you and share my PBL experience, a testimonial so to speak.

My chapter at Vance Granville Community College is a perfect mix of PBL members and PD members of all ages and they are like a family, (some of them literally since both of my sons also joined PBL.)  One of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had since my boys were very small was seeing my sons on stage at State Leadership Conference receiving an award for their competitive event, pride welling up within me. Then, having all three of us qualify for Nationals in San Antonio was the “icing on the cake.”   I truly wish I had discovered PBL many years ago. My PBL journey has brought my through a whole new world!  I have learned so much about myself that I didn’t realize was possible. Without my PBL chapter, Chi Beta Chi, supporting and encouraging me, I would never have attempted some of the challenges that the competitions have presented. But through the competitions at the State and National levels I have become more confident in my skills, abilities, and knowledge.  Because of that, I have been able to overcome my insecurity that prevented me from socializing with people I did not know, allowing me to meet many interesting people from all over this country.  Whether it be waiting in line to get into a competition or sitting next to someone in a workshop, a conversation can be initiated and a new friendship could arise.  The comradely of the PBL organization makes it so much easier to step out of that comfort zone and reach out to a stranger because, after all, we are part of the same “family.”

In addition to all I have learned, achieved and accomplished through PBL, the places I have traveled like Orlando, Florida and San Antonio, Texas, I would NEVER have been able to go if it wasn’t for PBL.  I never imagined that I would see The Alamo, in person. My sons’ and I were able to visit San Antonio, TX together and share a wonderful experience.  Forever etched in my mind are the memories and images of the beautiful sights I’ve seen and the friendships that have been formed as a result of the unity PBL creates for its members.  My first year in the Chi Beta Chi Chapter, at SLC, I shared a room with a woman I did not know very well, except for seeing her at meetings from time to time, and we are now the closest of friends!

I am forever grateful for ALL my experiences in PBL, even the grueling hours, standing in the HOT sun, over a huge charcoal grill, along the edge of the track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway or passing out bottles of water to concert goers at an outdoor concert on a VERY hot, dry, dusty day just to raise funds for the Chapter to help offset the cost of attending conferences. There is no doubt in my mind that when my education is finished I will be a Professional Division member for life and I hope to be a very active, very involved one at that so I can help to ensure that many, many other students (young and old(er) will have an opportunity to experience FBLA-PBL!