This story was prepared from a press release provided by Shannon Hong, grade 10, director of Public Relations for Harker DECA; photos also provided by Harker DECA.
The students of Harker’s DECA chapter, nearly 100 in total, spent the weekend of Jan. 3 at the Silicon Valley Career Development Conference in San Jose. During the conference, the students participated in a number of activities and competitions designed to build their leadership and business skills.
Harker students performed admirably in the competitions, with 21 students ending up in the top three. Placing first were Harker DECA president Monica Thukral, grade 12, in the Food Marketing Individual Series Roleplay; Ray Xu, grade 9, in Principles of Finance; Freshman Srivatsav Pyda and senior Arthur Shau in Business Team Decision Making; and Safia Khouja and Sabrina Sidhu, both grade 11, in Hospitality Team Decision Making.
Second place finishers were the team of sophomores Shannon Hong, Michael Zhao and Annie Zhou for Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan; Aathira Menon and Natasha Santhanam, both grade 10, for International Business Plan; juniors Glenn Reddy and Felix Wu for Business Operations Research Written Plan; Julia Fink, grade 12, in Apparel and Accessories Marketing; Mabel Luo, grade 12, in Business Service Marketing; Shannon Hong in Restaurant and Food Service Management; Victoria Ding, grade 10, and Sapna Suresh, grade 12, in Marketing Team Decision Making; and seniors Adithram Rengaramchandran and Rohan Kapatkar, grade 12, in Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making.
Taking third place was the team of seniors Gaurav Kumar and Adarsh Battu in Business Team Decision Making.
“At SVCDC, we were able to not only present our projects that we had worked so long on but also meet old friends and make new ones. I never expected to make it to the stage, so when they called my name I was already in shock,” said Zhao. “Winning second place together with my friends was the best part; all of our work was worth that moment of pride when we stood together on stage.”
Aside from the many competitions they entered, Shannon Hong, Sophia Luo, grade 10, and Haley Tran, grade 9, were elected to the next Silicon Valley District Action Team.
“SVCDC was an exhilarating experience. I learned new skills as a competitor and a candidate, meeting different people from all over the Silicon Valley and being a part of this wonderful community of intellectually curious and business minded high school students,” Hong said. “Standing on stage, twice, was thrilling; I hope to do even better during States.”