Dynamic DECA Explored

James Konrad, Writer

What in the world is DECA? To be honest with you, I had no idea until earlier in the year when I faintly heard an announcement about it over the loudspeaker as I shuffled through the cluttered hallway. DECA. It had a nice ring to it and I wanted to learn more.

Turns out DECA isn’t just a program within BFA’s walls, it’s run all over the United States and several other foreign countries.

In fact, “DECA Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit student organization…in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain.” (deca.org)

DECA has grown to having over 215,000 members, within 3500 high school chapters as well as an additional 275 collegiate chapters. BFA St. Albans is one of the high school chapters.

Now what exactly is the mission of DECA?

“DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.” (deca.org)

BFA St. Albans’ DECA chapter has been looking to do just this.

The group really seems to mesh together as one, having a common goal in improving themselves as learners as well as people.

The program’s impact on the students is clear.

“I see students gain confidence and experience, often it is most visible in public speaking or working in groups but I see kids growing and becoming better people every day, in little ways and that feels good,” Anthony Sorrentino, the BFA/NWTC DECA Chapter advisor said.

Student members also notice how much of a positive impact DECA can have on them.

First year DECA participant Sam Stocks (‘17) has noticed a change in himself even after only being in the group for a few months.

“I’ve definitely seen a change in myself. It has so far taught me great things about working with a group and what a group can accomplish if they all work together as one. Being VP of Community Service has really taught me how great these kinds of services are to do. It’s good feeling knowing that you are helping people who need it.”

One of the community service efforts that the group has already made this year was a “Miracle Minute” where the DECA members went around the cafeteria during lunch blocks collecting spare change for one minute.

In all they raised about $150, set to be given to Camp Ta Kum Ta, which is a summer camp for children affected by cancer.

Along with learning and practicing business-related skills, and these various community service opportunities, DECA offers a possibility to travel through going to yearly conferences.

“We went and worked in Nashville for a week last spring, and are going to Anaheim, California this April,” Sorrentino said. This will be an international career development conference.

So, if you are seeking some hands-on learning that can help you hone your personal communication and other skills needed in business, stop by and talk to Mr. Sorrentino.