Paving a Brighter Future Through DECA


The power trio Alondra, Ruth , and Denali (L to R) have devoured their competition (Scott Moore).

Sophia Chen, Managing Reporter

DECA, or Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an organization that allows students to develop and hone important skills. The program states that it “prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in different careers like marketing, financing, hospitality, and management.” It’s a great opportunity for students to gain insight into business skills and acquire experience that directly prepares them in these highly specialized fields.

DECA involves fierce competitions. It offers 59 different events related to entrepreneurship and problem solving that students can compete in. The two main categories of competition are roleplay/case study and prepared events. In roleplay competitions, an individual or group must formulate a plan that addresses a specific and relevant issue. Competitors are given a prompt on-site and must promptly plan their presentations and deliver them. In prepared competitions, students give slightly longer presentations, but they are able to prepare their speeches beforehand.

This year, 23 brave students represented Boise High School’s DECA club in the state competition. Notable competitors include Ruth Etoka, Denali Arellano and Alondra Arroyo-Martinez who earned 1st place honors in the Business Solutions Project event. Sophomore Yvonne Shen won 1st place honors in the Entrepreneurship Series event, and Olivia Dhoore won 3rd place honors in the Principles of Business Management and Administration event. These five students will advance to the national DECA competition in Orlando, Florida.

Ruth, Denali, and Alondra described their event. The Business Solutions Project is a prepared event where students must utilize project management skills to assist a business. The challenge posed by St. Luke’s was “How do we retain and attract front-line health workers?” For the live competition, there are two judges. Competitors must stand in front of them and present their project within 15 minutes. Ruth elaborates, “We had to write a document that was more than 20 pages long to help gather all the details and organize the project. There were two additional judges grading and judging us on the side, just like how they do in job interviews.”

Yvonne Shen participated in the Entrepreneurship Series event that was a roleplay/mock interview event. Competitors receive a piece of paper with a challenge presented on it.  The student receives ten minutes to prep, and ten minutes to conduct the actual interview/presentation in front of a judge. The prepared events are pre-prepared like Ruth, Denali, and Alondra’s, while the roleplay/mock interview events are completely improvised like Yvonne’s.

Students should consider partaking in Boise High’s DECA club. The vast array of events allows students to focus on individualized skills. On top of that, students can sharpen their speaking skills, improve their confidence, and pave the way for a brighter future through the program.