ISHPEMING TOWNSHIP — Westwood High School students took home a number of big awards at this year’s national Business Professionals of America leadership conference in Boston.

Of the eleven Westwood students who qualified for the conference, five made it into the top ten in their respective categories.

Each student begins honing their skills in a specific area of business-related study at the beginning of the school year in preparation for regional, state, and national level competition.

“This year, I worked extra hard to be able to get to where I was,” said Hannah Salmi, a senior who won first place in Legal Office Procedures. “It’s exciting to go out on this. Definitely a lot of hard work went into it.”

“To be in the top three is phenomenal, so we’re very proud of these kids, and I can’t say enough about the way they represented our school and Michigan at the national level,” said Ronalyn Arseneau, business teacher and co-advisor of Westwood’s BPA chapter.

Students don’t just compete in BPA activities to get the gold. The contests help them master skills that are useful in school and beyond.

“Doing my contest has basically prepared me for other stuff that we may be doing in our business classes, and it helped me get things done quicker,” said junior Jarl Peters, who won first place in Integrated Office Applications.

“I like to compete, and I also plan on probably going into business administration in college next year,” RaeAnne Hinkens, a senior who won second place in Advanced Word Processing, added.

In addition to competing with over five thousand students from around the nation, Westwood High Schoolers got the opportunity to see the historic city of Boston.