South sends 46 students to DECA state competition


Photo courtesy of Bill Cayo

Alex Black ’17 at the 2016 State Career Development DECA conference in March. Black advanced all the way to the International Career Development conference in Nashville last April.

Lauren Thom '18, Supervising Photo Editor

Several students hoping to one day make it as business moguls took the first step last Saturday, Jan. 14 by competing in the District Seven Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Competition at Lake Orion High School.

DECA advisor William Cayo said 65 students from South competed and 46 students qualified to move on to the State competition which will be held in Detroit on March 10-12.

“(The awards) are evidence that kids are great problem solvers, that they have a lot of business knowledge and that they can combine those two things to perform in this competitive event well,” Cayo said.

Cayo said students prepare for this competition by first learning about business, economics and marketing in the classroom, and second by practicing at the weekly DECA meetings.

Ponette Rubio ’18 has been a member of DECA for three years and was one of the students who competed in the district competition. She said every member of DECA takes an exam and those scores help determine if students will advance to the State competition. Rubio won three medals overall.

“One was for the exam, the test score, the other one was for the presentation, and the third one was a medal for advancing to states,” Rubio said.

While at the districts competition, Rubio said each group receives a scenario and they have to come up with a solution on how they would solve the problem and explain it in front of judges.

“My category was marketing and communications and I got a role play where I was the manager at Threads Alterations upscale tailor shop,” Rubio said. “I had to find a way to bring in more customers and they gave us a problem that we have to solve which was on aging clientele.”

Sasha Szura ’17 also advanced to the State competition and said he is excited to be able to go downtown with his friends to compete.

Cayo said he is hopeful that many students will advance to the International competition, held in Anaheim, CA, following the State competition

“DECA has become more competitive, and so it’s really difficult and a great accomplishment to qualify for internationals,” Cayo said.