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School club gives Warren High sophomore business insight

Ruben Torres sophomore Warren High School waits talk meeting Future Business Leaders Americclub school. He was recently elected President Northern

Ruben Torres a sophomore at Warren High School waits to talk at a meeting of the Future Business Leaders of America club at the school. He was recently elected President of the Northern Area of the Illinois State FBLA. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 17, 2013 2:38AM

GURNEE — Inspired to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Warren Township High School sophomore Ruben Torres decided to get involved with a school club that gives him volunteer opportunities and leadership skills.

Torres is so enthusiastic about Future Business Leaders of America chapter at Warren High that he also got involved with FBLA at the state level.

Torres is vice president of the Warren High FBLA chapter and was recently elected president of the Illinois Northern Area FBLA.

Torres, 16, of Wadsworth has been an “enthusiastic” FBLA member since his freshman year, according to WTHS FBLA Advisor Chris Mason.

“He has done an excellent job as an officer this year, and I know that
he will enjoy his tenure as a state officer and make the most of all the benefits and experiences that it has to offer. Ruben is a friendly young man and makes his fellow members feel included at all of our events,” Mason said.

Torres said his older brother David Torres, 24, has been a “big influence” to him. That was why he was inspired to join FBLA.

“I love FBLA. It’s a community. For me, I like to meet new people. I like to lead by example,” Torres said.

FBLA at both O’Plaine and Almond Campuses collected about 900 pairs of shoes for charity. The Warren FBLA chapter is planning its annual Concert for Life event on March 10. So far, the event has raised more than $300,000 for American Cancer Society.

As president of the Northern Area of Illinois FBLA, Torres takes a seat on Illinois FBLA executive board. There were about 650 students at the FBLA conference where Ruben campaigned for presidency, according to WTHS FBLA sponsor Kelly Wilkerson.

“Ruben is a terrific example of the young leaders that represent Warren here at home, in the community and across the state of Illinois,” Wilkerson said.

One of his ideas is to address membership involvement at the state level.

He said he’s noticed juniors and seniors tend to be the most active FBLA members and freshman the least.

He would like to see FBLA chapters across the state start to invite eighth-graders to come to FBLA meetings to ramp up participation at an earlier age.

“I feel like I could make a huge impact (at the state level),” Torres said.

He is also on WTHS academic and math teams. He plays volleyball and is interested in pursing a career in accounting or finance.

“I feel that FBLA will be some thing that translates to the real world,” Torres said.

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