This April, Ridgewood High School’s DECA team is headed to nationals in California. After an impressive showing at the state competition in February, 40 high-achieving students will soon be on their way to the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim. These students will compete in an array of events ranging from role plays, paper presentations, and the stock market game, in addition to a variety of academy lectures.
In February, RHS DECA competed at the State Career Development Conference in Atlantic City. Over 100 Ridgewood students attended and many made it to the final round of their events. After the final round, those placed highest within their category would proceed to the national competition. Ridgewood, one of the largest chapters at the conference, competed exceptionally with many students advancing to nationals.
New Jersey DECA is the eighth largest DECA program in the country. Thousands of students traveled to Atlantic City to be a part of this huge event. This was the first time in many years that the conference was held in Atlantic City which allowed both the Blue and Gold competition divisions to be combined, as they had previously competed on separate days when the conference had been held in Cherry Hill.
Mrs. Mendez, one of the RHS chapter advisors, was awarded two awards, one for her ten years of service and the other for her achievements as a DECA advisor. This award was presented to Mrs. Mendez by NJ DECA’s Northern Region Vice President and RHS senior Julia Tze.
When asked about her DECA experience, one RHS student commented: “I have really enjoyed the DECA program and all of the friends I have made as a result. I just joined this year, my senior year, and my biggest regret is not joining sooner. I was always a little intimidated by the prospect of entering a business competition when I knew nothing about business itself, but it is actually really fun and not as daunting as it appears. I ended up writing a 30 page paper that is going to nationals and it is something I am really proud of. The skills you learn from DECA are so beneficial for both school and the professional world and I am so glad I was able to learn these tools before going off to college.”
The students who are going to nationals are set to compete in a wide variety of events. The Role Play categories include both introductory as well as more advanced events in the fields of accounting, human resources, marketing, etc. As for the paper competitions, students who wrote papers of various lengths will be submitting and presenting their work at nationals. Some of these papers include topics regarding chapter community service projects, financial literacy plans, and independent business plans. RHS DECA students are now busy getting ready to head to California to present these projects at the national level.