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Lakewood FBLA students find success

Lakewood High School students Aaron Nech, left, demonstrates a video game he created called “Black Friday,” while Ashlie Jensen watches. Nech will be demonstrating the game at nationals this July. - Adam Rudnick
Lakewood High School students Aaron Nech, left, demonstrates a video game he created called “Black Friday,” while Ashlie Jensen watches. Nech will be demonstrating the game at nationals this July.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

LAKEWOOD — Lakewood High School student Aaron Nech is refuting the claim that spending time with video games won’t lead to success.

The sophomore created a PC game called “Black Friday,” in which the player moves a shopping cart from the bottom of the screen to the top to collect gifts. During that time the player must avoid oncoming carts that zoom across the screen.

“You try not to get hit by other shoppers and get as many gifts as you can,” Nech said. “I started this around Christmas time and I figured Black Friday would be a good choice for a game.”

The game is getting noticed.

Nech’s game placed first at the state in the Washington State FBLA business leadership conference in April. He entered the game in the computer game and simulation programming category.

Because judges determined Nech’s game to be the state’s best, he will be competing at the National Leadership Conference this July in Nashville, Tenn.

At that conference, approximately 6,000 of the top FBLA students in the United States will be competing in a variety of business-related events.

Nech will be the sole representative from Lakewood in Nashville, and only one of two students from Washington that will take part in that national event.

To get to the state event, Nech placed also placed first in the Northwest Regional competition earlier this year.

Fellow student Ashlie Jensen also competed in the state conference competitions. She took home awards in accounting (fourth place), sports management (fourth place), business procedures (fifth place) and technology concepts (third place).

Jensen’s events were written exams that judged her knowledge about specific information in each category.

“I took a lot of practice tests beforehand,” Jensen said. “You just have to do a lot of studying. The big difference between regional and state is that regionals were much easier.”

While Jensen’s events were based on written tests, Nech was judged not only on how his game worked but how he presented himself.

During each stage of competition, Nech gave a presentation on how he created the game, all the while showing how it works.

“We’ve had kids in my classroom play test it in class,” said Bob Walker, Lakewood FBLA adviser. “He’s gotten a lot of feedback.”

Hopefully that input will help Nech as he prepares to make the trip to Tennessee.

Walker said that the sophomore is not allowed to tweak his game from this point forward, but can make adjustments to how he demonstrates it.

“Each time he presents it he’s getting better,” Walker said.

The national conference takes place July 9-12.

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