DECA chapters help develop vital skills for students’ futures, make new friend along the way

Hannah Ho, Design Editor

Thousands of high school students gather on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 to compete in business-oriented competitions that will validate the hard work they put into their meetings at each high school chapter.

Senior Andrea Chen is the co-founder and president of this school’s DECA chapter. “Though DECA is often represented by their mission statement, ‘preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs,’ to me, the organization’s impact is better measured by the unique experiences offered to students,” Chen said. “I’d heard about DECA through friends from other schools and immediately started and joined Wootton’s DECA chapter when it was first started my sophomore year, so I have been a part of it for three years total. However, due to scheduling and sponsor conflicts we were not able to compete in conferences and competitions until this year.”

In DECA, students attend Power Trips and Career Development Conferences to develop leadership skills and compete with other high school students in various business events ranging anywhere from the individual Restaurant and Food Services Management event to the Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making event. “Best of all, we are able to meet driven students who enjoy the same passions as we do,” Chen said.

The most recent DECA conference they competed in was called the Maryland State Career Development Conference after competing in the Regionals Conference. They actively participated in leadership and skill workshops before completing their competitive event. “For me, I completed a roleplay in which I took on the position of a human resources intern responding to a communication initiative; other competitors had presentations or other roleplays depending on their event,” Chen said. “We all had a great time at this eye-opening experience and met many amazing people.”

This conference exceeded member’s expectations. “This conference was so fun, especially because we were finally able to put our efforts in action. Many colleges actually have their own DECA chapter, so I’ll be able to continue my involvement with this organization. However, if I do happen to go to a college without a DECA chapter, the experiences I’ve made through DECA will stick with me forever. Be sure to follow @woottondeca on instagram. We also have the names of those who qualified on there,” Chen said.