Creek DECA’s regional success sends them to state


Emily Ruthven, Around Creek Editor

In DECA, students learn important skills such as public speaking, presentation etiquette, economics, and business. Creek DECA achieved major success when all it’s students who competed in regionals advanced to the state competition.

DECA is a national association, with four regions in the North Atlantic, Central, South and West. With all of these regions combined, more than 185,000 students participate in the program. Its core values are competence, innovation, integrity, and teamwork, according to the DECA association. The four official categories of DECA include marketing, hospitality and tourism, business management and administration, and finance, all of which promote entrepreneurship.

In most categories, student groups work together to create a hyper-realistic business plan to promote their imaginary company or product. The intricate planning and intense preparation that goes into these projects really “prepares you for the real world,” Valerie Severance, a junior DECA student, said.

Students involved in DECA aspire to join the business world. The class can help them decide which fields best suit their talents and interests.

“You might think you want to go into the fashion industry, and then it is nothing like you expected,” Severance said. DECA gives students the chance to eliminate any paths that don’t coordinate with their style, thus providing them with a smooth transition into the real world and workplace.

“[The class] gives you a sample of different industries for you to try out and see what works for you,” Severance continued. Categories contain a multitude of business types, including environmental projects.

One group, consisting of juniors Severance, Lydia Haregot and Diego Allison, decided to promote a fashion company of their own creation. The team worked for months, perfecting their presentation, gathering real numbers and statistics and planning everything from store design to promotional parties for their company. The trio used Allison’s experience in fashion design and production, as he has created his own fashion line in the past, which he continues to work on today. After competing against 15 other presentations in the fashion category, Severance, Haregot, Allison, and the 200 million dollar company advanced from regionals to the state level, along with every other group in the Creek DECA program.

Along with preparing business plans, DECA students also run the school store, selling coffee, snacks and other beverages. Working in the store helps fund the students’ tip to San Antonio, where the state competition will be held.

If students achieve a high amount of success with DECA, they have the opportunity to apply for and earn scholarships. DECA provides more than $300,000 a year in scholarship money for college and high school students across the nation.

For those interested in pursuing a career in business or finance, or maybe just looking for a great learning opportunity, DECA may be a great choice. It is never too late to join. Students from 9th grade to 12th grade are eligible to join the class. Both Severance and Haregot joined their sophomore year and have advanced to the state level twice now.

“We have so much fun, but also get a lot of work done,” Haregot said.