Rachel Broyles, ASMS Junior, from Dothan, Ala., is the president of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). The purpose of the FBLA is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.
“FBLA is an important part of my life in so many ways” Broyles says. “From my future, to my friends, this club has affected my life greatly. I love this club for what it stands for and how its taught me to be a leader.”
Broyles has been leading this club for two terms at ASMS, and was a member of FBLA at her old school, Wicksburg High School in Dothan, Ala.
“At my old school we did many things for the Dothan community including the Reach and Teach Rock concert starring the Velcro Pygmies,” Broyles says. “We also went to the FBLA State competition, where my partner, Gavin Weber, and I competed in the Business Plan competition and got second place! Another group I was apart of, competed in the Business Partnership Plan where we were awarded first place.”
Prematurity Awareness Day is nationally recognized on November 17, each year, but Broyles was determined to educate the students and staff of ASMS, so she organized a school wide Prematurity Awareness Day on Friday, November 16, 2018. Broyles and her cohorts in the FBLA encouraged the ASMS family to wear purple in support of World Prematurity Day on Friday and also decorated the front lobby desk!
Broyles wants to spread awareness about this topic, in hopes of encouraging those who have had a first hand account with prematurity. ASMS Director of Student Services, Kara Whitney, dealt with prematurity first hand, as her son was born premature and spent many days in the NICU.
“When you find out you are pregnant, you go through many emotions” Whitney says. “I always imagined my pregnancy being like a Pampers Commercial. You never think about or plan for what to do when things go wrong. Our son Remington was born on 1/3/17 at 1lb. 7oz. I was 28 weeks pregnant and developed severe preeclampsia, that resulted in an emergency C-Section at USA Women’s and Children’s in Mobile, Ala. Remi spent 134 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at USA. He had to overcome many milestones while in the NICU, but it was also amazing to see the care that the doctors and nurses take of these tiny miracles each day.”
Whitney has become an advocate for prematurity, becoming involved with an online community, encouraging and assisting other parents that have babies in the NICU.
“I became a member of several online groups for parents going through the NICU journey,” Whitney says. “It was really helpful to be able to ask questions and seek support from others who have been or are currently going through the journey of prematurity.”
With Whitney’s testimony and the FBLA educating the ASMS Community on prematurity, Broyles hopes to spread the word even farther than just 1255 Dauphin St.
“I hope this brings positive attention to those affected and educates others on what prematurity awareness is all about,” Broyles says.
Pictured left, is Remi! He is almost 2 years old now, happy and healthy!
To learn more about World Prematurity Day and how you can help raise awareness, visit the March of Dime’s website here.