DECA students accompanied by marketing teacher Tiffany Chappell participated in a trip to Virginia Beach, VA to attend a State championship. Starting on Friday, March 1, the students competed in a two-day competition and hoped to place for nationals.
Chappell could not have been more excited about it. “It’s very different from Districts. The students get to interact with over 3,000 DECA members from across the state of Virginia,” Chappell said. “They get a lot of experiences in networking with others as well as competing in their event.”
Junior Cynthia Cortes-Flores exhibited the same level of enthusiasm. “It was really exciting and nerve-racking because it was my first time going, so I didn’t really know what to expect (…) I had a lot of good memories made and it was just a lot of fun,” Cortes-Flores said. “It’s like a different experience because at districts it’s like not as competitive, but then when you go to states it’s like there are all these people going to do the same thing and it’s just really cool to see this happening.”
When they first arrived the members got straight to work. “We had a study session Friday night where we all got together and prepped for the competition,” junior Pooja Parbadia said. Competitions were on the second day where each student competes for a trophy in their category and a spot at states.
“We had five students that got on stage Saturday night in the mini-awards, they placed in either an exam or role-playing. Then on Sunday, we had one student, Pooja Parbadia, that placed at State for Personal Financial literacy, so she’ll be moving on to Orlando (Nationals),” Chappell said. Parbadia was exhilarated by her win. “[Qualifying] was really cool because we weren’t there for the final ceremony because we had to go home because it was supposed to snow really bad, so I found out on the bus and it was such a weird feeling because I never thought I would actually go to ICDC [Nationals].”
DECA has daily homeroom practice sessions in preparation for the real thing. “We start in January preparing for the tests that they take in February (…) I’ll usually take them aside in class and work with them a little bit as well,” Chappell said. “After the test in February, I still have them come as much as they can (…) and give them study materials (…) We do role-play together and the kids help each other and basically, it’s getting them in here during Advisory.” Chappell said.
Although DECA requires a lot of hard work and dedication, students find it well worth it. “After we finish doing our events we just get to relax and have fun and go to the beach and hang out and all that stuff so it was really fun,” Cortes-Flores said.