Christina Green, Ohio Association Vice President
Have you discovered all the opportunities Business Professionals of America has to eanable you to become an active member and receive recognition? Participating in the Torch Award Program is a great way to showcase your leadership abilities and increase your involvement in your chapter, school, and community. This program offers something for everyone, and it is a great way for you to receive individual recognition for your hard work and commitment.
By participating in the Torch Awards Program you will have the opportunity to:
· Learn how to cooperate and work with others
· Step up and take on the role of a leader
· Network and build relationships
· Improve your communication and time management skills
Getting started is simple. First, you want to log on to www.bpa.org/awards/torch and download the Torch Awards Handbook. This handbook contains the categories and the activities that you can perform to receive points. There are nine torches in seven activity categories. The torches are: leadership, service, cooperation, knowledge, hope, love, faith, friendship, and patriotism.
Did you know that you can get earn Torch Award points for both chapter and non-chapter related activities? You can receive points outside of BPA by participating in a school sport, being a member of another organization, and by volunteering in your school or community. Some BPA related activities would include competing in BPA competitions, participating in a chapter service project, and running for an office. You will most likely discover that you have already earned points even before you begin to document your activities for a Torch Award.
I recommend setting goals with deadlines for completion of activities that will enable you to earn the points for the next Torch level. Setting a goal is a great way to strengthen your time management skills. I also encourage you to team up with friends or fellow chapter members to complete those activities. As a team, you can help each other reach your goals!
Once you have completed an activity, you will record it on your online résumé using your BPA membership ID and password, which you can get from your local advisor. This online system is great because it’s organized and it keeps track of your activities and points. You advisor should be involved in the process by verifying your points. You advisor should also assist you in submitting your résumé before the deadlines in order for you to receive recognition.
There are four different levels in the Torch Award Program. Each level requires a specific number of points in each category.
Executive: Local Level 10 points in each category
Diplomat: Regional Level 30 points in each category
Statesman: State Level 50 points in each category
Ambassador: National Level 70 points in each category
March 11 is the deadline to submit your resume and receive your Statesman Award at the State Leadership Conference. April 1 is the deadline to submit your resume for the Ambassador Award.
Once you have documented activities for the required points in each category, your résumé can be submitted to receive recognition. As a Torch Award Recipient you will receive a torch pin and a certificate. Once you are a recipient doesn’t mean you are finished. You can always start again and prepare for the following year! Also, you can share your experience with you chapter and encourage your fellow members to get involved!
With Torch Awards, you will make a personal difference as well as a difference in your school and community. I’ve made a difference and I know that you can, too. So, get out there fellow BPA members and make difference in your world!