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DECA-cated to Business

Lisa Chen, Sports Editor

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As thousands of students from across Indiana gathered in the JW Marriott in Indianapolis for awards, Homestead’s DECA team buzzed with anticipation, hoping it would send many students to the international competition in Atlanta, Georgia.
DECA, Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a business-based club that promotes marketing, finance, hospitality and management through role play competitions and paper presentations.
“DECA has done incredible things in my life,” Addison White (12) said. “It is refreshing to see that a student’s success in DECA is a direct result of the amount of work and dedication that they put in. DECA has been an organization that has given me immense amounts of opportunity in the areas of leadership and service.”
DECA is separated by two main competitive events: role play and paper. During role play events, such as Principles of Finance and Business Laws and Ethics, students are given a situation the day of their presentation and must use a limited amount of time, such as 10 minutes, to solve the problem given.
Unlike paper events, role play participants must qualify for state competition in Indianapolis by placing in the top five of their category at districts. This year, Homestead had 42 students qualify for the state competition through the district competition.
For paper events, such as Advertising Campaign, students qualify directly for state. Students choose between five page, 11 page and 30 page papers that promote a certain company or inform about a business’ operations.
“I prepared for SCDC the second I got back from competition last year,” Jeremy Kim (12) said. “I worked very hard on my paper, especially first semester, while also creating additional visuals besides my PowerPoint. I also studied for my test in regular increments leading up to SCDC.”
While not all events have a test, participants in most of the eleven page papers and all role play events must take one.
At SCDC, the state competition, participants must place in the top three for paper events and the top four for roles play events, in order to move onto ICDC, the international competition. While 10 students from Homestead qualified for ICDC last year, 21 students qualified this year.
“This year was incredibly successful with one of the largest groups qualifying for ICDC,” Jesse Majors (11), co-president, said. “Since this was the first year with an organized, established club, I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
Although students have a lot of free time at SCDC, this environment changes during ICDC.
“The international competition is like state on steroids,” Majors said. “You meet so many different kids from different places, even other countries. I know going to Anaheim last year was one of my favorite trips.”
Overall, the impact of DECA extends beyond high school because of its real world scenarios.
“DECA has exposed me to realistic business situations and helped me build valuable connections,” Kim said. “I have learned to develop a strong work ethic that I will take with me to the prestigious Kelley School of Business next year. I believe that DECA has taught me business skills that cannot be developed inside a physical classroom.”
While DECA may be a business club, those who are not necessarily interested in business still benefit from the competition experience.
“DECA involves a lot of creativity and independence and can strengthen anyone’s character, even for other fields,” Majors said. “It helps with public speaking, application and research, while still being enjoyable. I would encourage anyone to join, regardless of the field they are looking to enter.”
The DECA experience not only provides skills beyond the classroom, but also builds new friendships and pride.
“My favorite part about DECA is the relationships you form,” Kim said. “After three years of being a part of Homestead DECA, I have developed a sense of pride in being part of this organization and will never forget the thrill of being able to compete.”

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