Whether an RHS student is part of the club or not, most everyone has heard of DECA before, maybe at the club fair, through a friend, or through fundraising. DECA is a major part of our school. However, without being part of the club, it’s difficult to understand exactly what it is and what the students gain and accomplish. Here is an inside look into RHS DECA and how it contributes to our school.
As many may not know, DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America. According to the organization itself, “DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe” (DECA Inc.).
One way this is done is with roleplays. In this event, a team is given an issue, and they are to come up with a solution to present it to a judge. The judge then scores the team based on how well they approach the problem, and if they addressed certain business terms. There are also presentations, which involve some sort of visual representation as well as a paper. Students are to create their own business and captivate the judges with creativity, accuracy, and communication skills.
The RHS DECA team is quite accomplished, with over 50 students making it to the International Career Development Conference in Orlando in 2019. In addition to these terrific numbers, RHS students have earned elite positions on the DECA Executive board. Most recently, current Senior Katie Hu is the President of New Jersey DECA. It is incredible to have one of our own earn such a position and have so much success.
DECA is an excellent way to immerse students in the business world as it simulates real world situations. Personally, my first roleplay was an experience I was not used to at all. My partner and I had to think quickly and intelligently, and then held in our nerves as we desperately tried to appeal to our judge. It was something I, and most other students, have experienced very little of. I’ve only ever participated in two roleplays and one presentation, but I feel as though I am substantially more aware of the business world than I was before joining DECA. It was a wake-up call and one that all high schoolers and college students desperately need.
Not only does DECA educate, but it builds character and resilience. Losing might be upsetting, but it is one of the most important parts of life. DECA is highly competitive, and competitions are no walk in the park. Most lose, but those losses act as motivation and inspire students to put more effort in. Losing a simulated experience is better than something failing in the real world, and through these activities, students learn how to make themselves better.
DECA doesn’t only compete in difficult competitions — they also run a store in our building, which is a huge commitment. They sell candy, RHS apparel, and more, all of which the RHS students appreciate.
DECA is a wonderful organization that every High School or College Student should try to take part in, and it contributes very much to our school.
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Graphic: RHS DECA