DECA member qualifies for international competition

Lauren Kriss, Editor-In-Chief

After winning at the district five competition, eight DECA Students qualified to compete at the DECA State Career Development Competition held Mar. 25-27 at the Sheraton Dallas Conference and Exposition Center.

During the second day of state competition sophomores Brittany Ballou and Avery Daniel competed in the Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan category. Seniors Lauren Kriss and Alyssa Cepeda competed in the same event. Seniors Ridge Brents and Christina Land competed in the Advertising Campaign category. Senior Sara Samani competed in the Entrepreneurship Written category and junior Carson Kennedy competed in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Series event.

At the Grand Awards Ceremony, Kennedy won his event and earned a spot at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida held April 25-28 at the Orange County Convention Center.

Kriss and Cepeda were finalists at the State CDC and will serve as alternates to international competition.

Being a first-year DECA competitor, Kennedy was nervous about competing at the state level.

“The most challenging part of the competition was going against other students who have the same goals as you and knowing that only seven out of the 100 people [in my event] were going to advance,” Kennedy said.

Agreeing with Kennedy, Cepeda felt that the presentation was the hardest part of attending the conference.

“You’re anxious to finish and get it over with, but also excited to show off what you’ve been working on,” Cepeda said.

On the other hand, Samani, a four-time state competitor, was more concerned with the work leading up to state.

“The most difficult part of competition was just the preparation beforehand and getting everything sorted out before we headed out,” Samani said.

While everyone agreed that competition is difficult, they also agreed it has its upsides.

“The best part of competition is getting to travel and spend time with your chapter,” Cepeda said. “You start to become one big family.”

DECA members also enjoyed getting a taste of the business world.

“I decided to compete because I felt DECA could really prepare me for a career in business,” Samani said.

For Cepeda, it was about playing a different role than normal.

“The most fun part of competition is getting dressed up for your event and the ceremonies because you get to present a more professional side of yourself,” Cepeda said. “It’s basically like your costume to put on your performance.”

There were other reasons this year’s team decided to compete besides dressing up and having a good time.

“It’s my last year at CPHS and I wanted to make even more DECA memories and compete with my best friend,” Cepeda said.

All the things that made Kennedy want to compete were the same things that inspired him to join DECA.

“I’ve always loved business and money,” Kennedy said. “And there was a club all about that. How could you not want to join?

With competition season over for them, the seniors are looking ahead to business opportunities in college.

“I am interested in collegiate DECA because it will always be helpful to have business skills,” Cepeda said. “I can continue to learn and improve on skills I have learned thus far.”

As a start to her future in business, Samani will be attending UT’s McCombs School of Business in the fall.

“I loved DECA throughout my high school years, but in college I would like to try other business clubs and internships in order to get a more diverse pool of experiences,” Samani said.

While everyone else’s season is over, Kennedy is getting ready for ICDC.

“I look forward to bringing an internationals trophy home,” Kennedy said.