This report provided by DECA press officer Vanessa Tyagi, grade 9
From April 24-29, 28 students from The Harker School DECA chapter traveled to the International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Fla. During the four event-filled days, the 18 students who qualified at California’s State Career Development Conference competed, while the remaining students attended the Emerging Leader Series.
Of our 10 teams that competed, four placed in the top 20 and qualified for the final round of competition. The finalists are as follows:
- Alexis Gauba, grade 10, Business Service Management Individual Series
- Jeton Gutierrez-Bujari and Glenn Reddy, both grade 12, Marketing Communications Team Decision Making
- Ankur Karwal, Sanil Rajput and Ameek Singh, all grade 11, Stock Market Game.
- Vanessa Tyagi and Rahul Mehta, both grade 9, Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making
- Shannon Hong and Sophia Luo, both grade 11, Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making (finalists for the written exam)
The first major event of the conference was the Finish Line/DECA Dash 5K Run/Walk on Saturday morning, in which our entire chapter participated. Students spent Saturday at Universal Studios and most of Tuesday at Disney World, after the final round of competition.
Testing took place on Sunday morning, and Monday was competition day. Following full days of testing, competition and leadership academies, students attended DECA parties at Disney World and Universal Studios on Sunday and Monday evenings. The final round of competition took place on Tuesday. The four qualifying teams found out they had advanced to the final round on Tuesday morning, at the mini awards session.
Students who applied and were accepted for leadership academies attended the Emerging Leader Series all day on Sunday and Monday. Harker had students in Thrive, Elevate and Ignite, three of the five offered academies. By attending these programs students were inspired and empowered to take leadership in DECA and also had the chance to network with DECA members from all around the world.
At the Grand Award Ceremony, Karwal, Singh and Rajput were called up on stage and recognized for placing in the top 10 in the Stock Market Game. Additionally, Reddy and Logan Drazovich, grade 11, were recognized as the National Finish Line Challenge winners.
“It was an amazing feeling, seeing all of the hard work of the past few months coming to fruition. I was thinking about how everything came together and then started focusing on mentally preparing myself for the finals as I had my final presentation 15 minutes after I found out, said Gauba who was in the Top 20 in Business Service Management Individual Series.