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Published on February 29th, 2012 | by Staff 12-13


It’s the business: DECA team continues to excel

Hilary Dubin
Staff Writer

According to Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Advisor Mariam Shafiey, on Jan. 27 and 28 the DECA team competed in the district level competition in the business and marketing categories. The students competed in a general competition in October, and moved on to the next step, which was the district level. Because the students did so well at the district level, they will move on to the state level competition from Feb. 23-26.

“We’ve done especially well this year, but to be honest, every year we do really well because business is such an interesting area of study,” Shafiey said. “Once students do the competitions, they want to continue to be involved.”

In the competitions, students compete by taking a test and conducting role-play in a business setting. Xiao Zhou, Mike Kent, Paloma Quevedo, Jamila Haji and Lizette Mendez recieved first place, Daniela Martin, Lizette Mendez and Danny Thomas and Zac Schafer recieved second place and Jamila Haji and Nicole Yalung recieved third place various competitions. If the students continue to thrive in the state competition, they will move on to nationals, and then to internationals. No Samo student has ever made it to internationals.

“At the rate that we’re going I actually think we’ll have the opportunity to have a couple of students go to internationals because we did so well in district,” DECA President of Membership Noel Prasad said.

According to Prasad, the membership has dramatically increased this year to almost 180 students. Many of the kids were already enrolled in the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Business and Marketing class, and from there they were encouraged to join DECA.

“This year the team is doing a lot better since we’ve increased numbers. We now have more people who will go out and study and actually have determination to win,” Prasad said.

According to DECA president Jamila Haji, it is important that students actually study for the competitions because success is largely based on the tests. Haji said that although it is a lot of studying, it is also a lot of fun. Students can choose subjects to compete in that they are personally interested in, which range from sports and entertainment marketing to finance.

“It’s not that hard, but it trains you for the future. You really learn how to get out there,” Haji said.

According to Haji, DECA is technically one of Samo’s clubs, but the members of DECA would classify it as more of an organization than a club. According to Haji, DECA donates to the Make-a-Wish Foundation each year.

“We give back to Make-a-Wish Foundation because we want to help people who really need it more than we do,” Haji said.

Haji said the students in DECA leave high school with knowledge that many people don’t gain until they begin their working careers. Where most students will go off to college or into the work field with little career experience or knowledge of their desired field of business, the DECA students will already be well versed in their subject of interest.

“You learn things that Mark Zuckerberg, for example, didn’t know until he had already started his company,” Haji said.

The members of DECA gain knowledge about possible career options for the future, and use it to benefit themselves and their community.

“DECA doesn’t just help you in business, but it helps you succeed as an individual regardless of what your plans are for the future,” Prasad said.

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