28 out of 45 DECA participants qualify for nationals


Isaiah Brewer

DECA recently competed at their annual state competition with 28 of the 45 students attending receiving medals.

DECA also received four of seven first place awards given to WCPSS students.

As the state competition date neared, participants prepared to make their project the best it could be.

“I was really nervous, but I had confidence that my project would stand out,” senior Caroline Roach said.

Roach worked with senior Jake Petrillo to create their Public Relations Campaign, where students are given a topic from society, and they have to portray that message to the community.

The team took first place.

Both Roach and Petrillo had worked for 18 weeks to prepare their project.

“It shows us that all of our hard work has paid off, and that we should be able to place well at nationals,” Petrillo said.

Participants were encouraged to do be as independent and self motivated as they could while working on their projects.

“My teacher gave me guidelines and I went with it, but she didn’t really write anything out for me,” sophomore R.J. Havens said.

Havens earned the top spot in the Innovation Plan event, where he had to convince people to invest in the product he was selling.

100 percent of students met proficiency, which is when a participant effectively demonstrates his or her knowledge and skills that are essential in a given career in the project presentation or scenario.

Of the 45 students attending, 23 qualified to attend the International Career Development Conference, held in Anaheim, Calif., which is the biggest DECA event of the year, known as nationals.

Senior Marcela Harrell took first place for Fashion Merchandising Plan. Harrell participated in the event as a junior, but had not been a top winner.

“I was really proud and super excited, especially since it’s the same project I did last year, and since I didn’t get a trophy last year, I worked hard on my new project,” Harrell said.

In addition to Roach, Petrillo, Havens, and Harrell, Chloe McFadden also placed first for her Entrepreneurship Promotion Plan. In this project, students must utilize their marketing knowledge and demonstrate the benefits of entrepreneurship by implementing a campaign to promote it.

McFadden said, “I was really excited, especially since I did it all by myself, and it was really rewarding.”