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The Reflection

Gull Lake DECA to round out a successful year at nationals

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Gull Lake’s DECA chapter has remained among the most popular clubs at the high school for several years now. With a membership of over 70 students from each grade level, DECA’s impact within the district is profound.  

DECA helps prepare students for future careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management across the globe, at both the high school and college level. Students that participate in DECA practice interviews and written projects that pertain to various aspects of business.

This year, after weeks of preparation, students attended the district three competition held at KVCC. At the competition, they answered mock interview questions based on a roleplay scenario they received, presented their written research and were judged on how well thought out their responses were.

The students who did well at districts received medals and qualified for the next round of the DECA competition: states.

Sophomores Megan Henderson and Syann Hollins pose at the DECA district competition held at KVCC. Photo courtesy of Gull Lake DECA

Last weekend, Gull Lake High School’s DECA chapter brought 52 of its 72 members to Detroit to attend the state leadership conference at the Cobo Center. The conference lasted three days, Friday through Sunday, and culminated with a much anticipated awards ceremony.

Of those 52 students who competed, numerous medaled and 10 will progress to the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida which will take place April 27-30. Over nineteen thousand high school students, advisors, businesspersons and alumni will gather at the national conference to showcase their business prowess.

Membership has been up for DECA in recent years, and so too is the number of students competing at the national level. The growth is evident when this year’s numbers are compared to the 2017-2018 school year, during which eight students progressed to the national conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gull Lake sophomore Sydney Blinn is one of those students who qualified for the International Competition this year. She, along with her two groupmates, participated in a written event in which they wrote a business plan for a “health food eatery.” For their project, Blinn and her partners wrote a ten-page business plan and created a board to present to the judges.

Blinn has participated in DECA for the past two years and plans to continue being a part of DECA for the rest of her high school career.

“I want to go into business, so DECA gives me a better understanding of the business environment and working in a team and problem solving are important skills,” Blinn said.

Among Blinn’s favorite aspects of DECA are the people she gets to meet and the fact that she gets to compete and showcase her talents.

“I like being with all of the people there and they’re really fun. I also personally enjoy competing because when I get done I’m like, ‘I wanna do it again,’” Blinn said.

Sophomore Megan Henderson has also been a participant in DECA for two years. This year, she participated in a roleplay event about marketing.

“[In a roleplay] you get a situation and in 10 minutes you have to prepare a solution,” Henderson said, “We also get these things called performance indicators and we have to talk about each of those or we get points marked off.”

Henderson, similarly to Blinn, has a fair share of things to say about the positive impacts that DECA has had on her and the support she’s received from teachers.

According to the Gull Lake website, “DECA is a Business and Marketing Club that is offered to any Gull Lake student interested in the field of Business and Entrepreneurship.” Photo courtesy of DECA.org

“DECA definitely helps you build people skills, and your confidence for sure with talking to people and presenting and thinking on your feet if you’re doing a roleplay,” Henderson said. “Mrs. Tarnas and Mrs. Jaros helped me practice a lot outside of school, and that preparation has been invaluable.”

Founded in 1946 as the Distributive Education Clubs of America, DECA is now a career and technical student organization that supports the preparation of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs and has more than 200,000 members in all 50 states and several foreign countries.

There are several means to become involved with DECA within the high school and beyond. Interested students can join the school DECA chapter locally, or become involved with the administrative portions of DECA on a more wide-scale level.

The Gull Lake chapter of DECA is led by students and advised by business teachers Michelle Jaros and Andrea Hudson. The organization tries to be as inclusive as possible, and is always seeking new members. As with any other club or sport at Gull Lake, there is a $75 pay-to-play fee for participants and other expenses may accrue depending on student advancement. Scholarships and financial help are available. 

If you are interested in joining DECA for the 2019-2020 school year, please contact DECA advisor Michelle Jaros at mjaros@gulllakecs.org. Click here to visit the DECA club page for further information.

 

 


Sophia Christensen
About

I'm a senior at Gull Lake High School and this is my first year on The Reflection staff, so I guess you could call me a newspaper newbie. I joined the newspaper sort of on a whim because I wanted to put the skills I learned in Multimedia and Reporting to work, but I'm here to stay and enjoy the ride. I like to write feature articles because I love the facet of newspaper that is giving people an outlet to speak their minds.

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