DECA Prepares for Atlanta


Kaye Sommer

DECA students flashing the DECA diamond before states.

Rebecca Loncar, Staff Writer

The weekend of March 9th-11th, 54 students and five chaperones travelled to the Cobo Center in Detroit to compete at the State Career Development Conference for DECA.

Over 4,000 DECA members across the state of Michigan, in many different chapters (schools),  travel to compete in many events while also networking. At the conference, students meet with each other and with influential business people in order to further their leadership skills. Students had time to network, and explore Detroit as well as compete in what they came to do.

Throughout the weekend many Milford students experienced victory in some form. Nine students will be going to the International Career Development Conference. These students include: Courtney Fortin, Nic Glazer, Lauren Carrannanto, Katy Trame, Jack Chaledecott, Jake McDonald, Rebecca Loncar, Emily Stando and Olivia Hustzi. Many other students were finalists though and received red, white and blue medals.

The weekend opened with written events which were prepared ahead of time and presented to a judge. Here, the state officers were also elected. State officers help lead Michigan into the next new DECA year.

Two Milford students, Olivia Huszti and Emily Stando, campaigned and were elected to the 2018-19 state executive council. Huszti is now the Vice President of Business Partnerships and Stando is now the State Secretary.

Members of the chapter campaigned for state officers and tried to convince voting delegates to vote for their candidates.

This campaigning time was one of the main times to network. Students were constantly shaking hands, exchanging names and chapters and talking with people from everywhere in Michigan. Afterwards, the students all went in to the opening session. Here, students met the 2016-17 state executive council and opened the conference.

When students compete, they choose to be in an event that excites them. There really is something for everyone. Many events include a roleplay, in which a student has a set amount of time to look over a situation and then present it to a judge who is an influential person in the business world. Many events include tests, which were taken on February 22.

Scores determine if a member is eligible to represent Michigan DECA and their chapter at the International Career Development Conference, which is held this year in Atlanta, Georgia.

In order to prepare themselves for the intense level of competition, students have a pizza and practice event, in which they do a roleplay with a business individual in our own community. At this event, judges give them critiques, and advice to help them know what they need to improve on before they go to states.

Saturday, throughout the day, students went to their set events, and competed. When they completed their competitions, they were free to go with a group around Detroit to have some fun. Saturday night there was a general session in which hypnotist Brian Imbus worked his magic and took 24 members on stage and hypnotized them.

A few audience members were also hypnotized in their seats in the audience. As the magic went on, those who were hypnotized were made to do things such as forget their names, or forget that the number seven exists. Everyone was laughing and having fun throughout the time spent with Imbus.

Sunday was the grand awards ceremony, and everyone was waiting on the edge of their seats to find out if they made it to ICDC. 23 students from the Milford chapter earned a medal or a plaque and went on stage.

Medals are given if you are top in your test score or roleplay score. If you advance to the International conference, you receive a plaque. As the awards ceremony went on, many students from Milford were called onto stage including many of the written events that Milford competed in. For some, the DECA season is done until next year.

But for nine students, preparations are already underway for the highest level of competition in DECA: ICDC in Atlanta, Georgia.