By Tamas Mondovics

Sixteen-year-old local computer technology student, Ben Simon, has done it again.

He became a national champion after winning first place during the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Competition, where he competed in Networking Concepts.

Held earlier this summer in Nashville Tenn., the event saw more than 100 competitors from all over the U.S., China, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Haiti, all of whom have qualified by winning their individual state titles.

The win is Simon’s second national title in a row, following last year’s National Championship title victory for Technology Concepts.

According to his mom Maria, the road to measure up his skills has been a busy one for her son, including his goal to compete for the SkillsUSA National competition in Pensacola, where Ben hoped to earn his peer’s respect in the field of Internetworking. 

“In order for him to qualify to compete for this event, Ben had to win first place in the state of Florida, which he did,” Maria said. “The competition lasted for three days and it was a very intense, but we are happy to report that out of the more than 33 competitors from across the U.S. he came in fourth place overall in the nation.”

Ben’s talent first gained local attention while he was attending seventh grade at Barrington Middle School. His former Language Arts teacher Mary B. Fowler did not hesitate to speak highly of her talented student.

“We are very proud of Ben and how he has represented our school,” Fowler said.  “He is an amazing young man. We know he will go far in life.”

Proving his teachers right, Ben has also been inducted into the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, and has completed his CCENT certification and is working on completing his CCNA certification.

Maria was also proud of her son’s efforts locally as he has managed to maintain a full schedule, including AP classes, Boy Scouts and a 5.12 GPA at his magnet school.

“Ben is keeping himself very busy,” she said. “He is now looking forward to his junior year at Middleton High School, where he is taking his dual enrollment college classes, and is currently working on his Eagle Scout Project. We are just so proud of him.”

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