March 2018

LAKE WORTH, Fla. – March 29, 2018) Two Palm Beach State College students will compete on the national level after winning top awards at the Phi Beta Lambda state competition.


Patreace Scharschmidt of Wellington won first-place in the Entrepreneurship Concepts, Management Concepts and Retail Management categories. Joshua Deese of Clewiston won second-place in the Entrepreneurship Concepts category during the event held in Orlando March 22-25.

Hundreds of students from colleges and universities, including eight from PBSC, participated in competitive activities in numerous categories. The top two winners in each category are now eligible to compete at the national competition that will be held in Baltimore June 23-26. Phi Beta Lambda is the collegiate division of Future Business Leaders of America.

Scharschmidt, an aspiring lawyer who will graduate in May with her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management with a concentration in entrepreneurship, said the experience would not have been possible without the encouragement of Dr. Roger Blair, her professor and the club’s advisor.

“He encouraged me to challenge myself and give it a shot. I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t think I would place. To have a mentor and someone to push you is great to have,” she said. “Participating in the competition was a great experience to have in college. “It’s really a great organization that will help you grow career wise and as a person.”

Deese, who is pursuing an A.A. degree with plans to transfer to a university to complete his bachelor’s degree in public policy, has been active in FBLA since he was in middle school. He said it is an honor to be able to put his knowledge to the test and now advance to the national level. A budding entrepreneur, he launched Beatster, an up-and-coming music stream platform app, in January 2015. “I feel fortunate that I was able to go into this competition and rather than rely on things I’ve learned in school, I was able to take what I’ve learned through practices and experience as an entrepreneur and use that in the competition. I feel great about it.”

Blair said he is proud of the students. “It does mean a lot because we’re competing against people from universities. It is quite competitive.”

Serving 49,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida's first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.

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