"I've got to get to FBLA, I've got to get to FBLA," was the only thought running through Nicci Martin's mind two weeks ago as she lay in the Yampa Valley Medical Center emergency room.
Nevermind that just hours earlier, the Soroco High School junior had flipped her car, the resulting accident fracturing her jaw and finger and opening a gash on her forehead.
Martin had other things to worry about -- like being elected to a state-level office with the Future Business Leaders of America.
"I've worked five months to get the position; I'm not going to give up now," Martin said while at the hospital April 18.
And she's glad she didn't. Martin met her teammates in Vail for the state FBLA conference a day later, when she was elected president of the Colorado FBLA.
Martin is the first student from Routt County to hold a state-level office with FBLA, let alone the presidency.
"It's still overwhelming," she said Thursday. "I can't believe it."
FBLA is a national organization that was founded in 1937 by Dr. Hamden Forkner. FBLA brings business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs, according to its mission statement.
FBLA chapters meet annually for leadership conferences and district, state and national competitions.
Martin, finishing her second year in the Soroco High School chapter of FBLA, said the organization has taught her tons about the business and professional worlds.
"FBLA has helped me so much already," she said. "I've learned resume writing, job interviewing skills -- (just) so much about the business world.
"FBLA has done so much for me that I just want to give back."
She'll have plenty of opportunities to give back in her new role as state FBLA president. Some of her duties will include presentations at FBLA competitions and conferences, working with state FBLA advisers and attending meetings of other FBLA chapters and districts.
"I'm so excited for her," Soroco FBLA adviser Angie Blair said.
Martin said she's looking forward to meeting her fellow officers, which she didn't have a chance to do at the state conference because of her late arrival and early exit. Despite the heavy medication she was on, Martin was able to conduct candidate interviews, take an FBLA test and give a speech.
She left the conference before the final vote was announced, so she learned of her presidency later that evening in her hometown of Yampa.
While she had concerns her election was helped by "pity votes" because of the accident, Martin knows her presence after such a frightening accident was a sign of dedication to FBLA.
"It was a rough couple of days," Martin said.
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