Competing for the top

DECA students head to district competition


Clarise Tujardon

Senior Brooke Tillman rehearses a scenario for DECA in E238 before school on Monday, Jan 12.

District competition for Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Irving Convention Center. There, eight students will compete in fields related to business. 

Senior Caleb Bartlett will compete for the financial planning division of DECA as he plans to become a financial adviser when he gets older.

“I want to make it to state and eventually onto internationals,” Bartlett said. “It’s my first year doing DECA and I want to see how far this can go. I’m majoring in business in college and financial planning is what I want to do after college. Competing in this will help me gain skills in my actual career.”

DECA members practice before and after school by rehearsing scenarios which may occur during the competition. By doing this, students become prepared to answer the judges’ questions and create solutions to the scenarios they are asked. Senior Trinity Ijoma will compete in the hospitality management section and uses the resources that are provided for her to prepare for the competition.

“I’ve definitely learned more [by practicing],” Ijoma said. “I’m not as experienced as other people but [since I’ve] been preparing, I’ve learned more than [I’ve learned before].”

With guidance from DECA adviser Valerie Cooper, DECA members prepare as much as they can for the competition. She encourages her students to prepare diligently for the competition and give it their all when competing.

“My expectation is that they carry themselves with pride, demonstrate integrity and professionalism at all times [during] the competition,” Cooper said. “I want them to give their best and forget the rest. Competition at anything is a process and the process starts with their determination to go out and try new things. I am always proud of them when they do that.”

Since joining, Ijoma feels she has broken out of her shell and is no longer the shy girl she used to be. Because of this, she has grown as an individual and gained a sense of confidence.

“I’m definitely more outgoing,” Ijoma said. “[I wasn’t] really good at talking to people I didn’t know but DECA brings out the outgoing side of me. I want to talk to people now. You have to be outgoing whenever you [enter the competition].”

Throughout it all, Cooper hopes to send a valuable message to each and every one of her students. 

“I hope they take away confidence and pride knowing that they applied themselves and that with the skills they learn in DECA, their future is limitless,” Cooper said.