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The GH Falcon

DECA beginners to glass winners

18 Green Hope students qualified to complete in the International DECA CDC in Anaheim, California after last week’s state competition.
The+entire+Green+Hope+DECA+chapter+debriefs+the+weekend+and+prepares+for+their+grand+award+ceremony+in+an+auditorium.+Photo+used+with+permission+from+Mr.+Harrison+Ray.
The entire Green Hope DECA chapter debriefs the weekend and prepares for their grand award ceremony in an auditorium. Photo used with permission from Mr. Harrison Ray.

As the largest club at Green Hope traveled to Greensboro, NC this past weekend, the stage in the Koury Convention Center was set for success. However, the path to success for Green Hope’s DECA chapter was far from direct from the start.

On Feb. 29, over 150 students gathered at Green Hope to depart for the conference. The DECA Career Development Conference (CDC) is a competition with over 50 different competitive events across all disciplines of business with two major events: written events and roleplay events. Written events are 10-20 page essays that follow a business plan structure composed by students, and are accompanied by a presentation at CDC. Roleplay students must take a 100 question multiple choice test prior to CDC, read a prompt given to them and generate a response before presenting to their judge. Nearly every event can either be done individually or with a small group of 2 or 3. 

Deepesh Chennamaneni (‘25), Nikhil Ranganathan (‘25) and Tate Jackson (‘25) poured hours upon hours into their Business Solutions Project, yielding them a 2nd place finish and three punched tickets to Anaheim, CA. Photo used with permission from Jacob Cowley.

This year, there were roughly 6,000 students from North Carolina competing and staying in Greensboro, a record breaking number of participants in the past decade. On Thursday evening, DECA held a grand opening ceremony to recognize hard work from NC DECA chapters throughout the year. 

Green Hope DECA also won multiple awards at the opening ceremony, including the Membership Campaign Thrive Level and Chapter Campaign Thrive Level, the highest levels of achievement regarding new membership and impact within DECA. Green Hope was also awarded Chapter of Distinction, as one of the most successful chapters, and the Supporting Chapter Award, which places them as one of the highest schools regarding philanthropy in NC DECA.

During the ceremony, DECA Vice President Justin Jackson (‘24) was awarded the Sonya Dismuke DECA scholarship, founded in memory of Sonya Dismuke’s contributions to NC DECA and the business field. This scholarship recognition accompanies a $2,500 check to Jackson’s school of choice next fall. 

With the Sonya Dismuke Scholarship in hand, Justin Jackson (‘24) stands with the other scholarship recipient and the NC DECA board to celebrate his recognition. Photo used with permisson from Jacob Cowley.

After the ceremony, students in nearly every chapter attended one of NC DECA’s most exciting events: “The DECA Dance.” The auditorium filled with students cheering as speakers blared with popular artists like Playboi Carti and Travis Scott. Bhaumik Giri (‘24) felt that “it was a fun and interactive experience for all of us. I loved to dance with girls and guys just like from other chapters across the state.”

Throughout the next day, many students presented their Start-Up Business Plans or Community Project Solutions to judges. After months of work being poured into their essays students put on their most professional tie or dress and pitched their innovative ideas. 

As the conference came to an end, students gathered in the auditorium for the grand award ceremony, where students learn if they qualify for the international competition in April, held in Anaheim, California. In order to qualify, students must place either top 5 or top 6, depending on the specific event participated in. Green Hope had 18 students who qualified for ICDC: 

Tate Jackson (‘25), Nikhil Ranganathan (‘25) & Deepesh Chennamaneni (‘25) in PMBS

Sanjith Sivakumar (‘24) in ESB

Yash Gupta (‘25) in HTPS

Caleb Robinson (‘24) in ENT

Prithu Bapu (‘24) in QSRM

Hutson Catullo (‘26) & Ella Chase (‘26) in PMCA

Keerthi Penumarti (‘24) & Sruthi Penumarti (‘24) in PMCD

Adi Sachan (‘26) & Mohammad Shayaan (‘26) in BTDM

Lars Hagen (‘26) & Patrick Barry (‘26) in ETDM

Vishal Boggarapu (‘26) & Amogh Pulkurthi (‘25) in EIB

Joven Song (‘25) in ACT

On top of this success, Green Hope’s DECA President Yash Gupta was named the Triad Region Vice President. He now oversees  all of the high school chapters within the largest DECA region in the state for the 2024 – 2025 school year. Gupta has been a member of the DECA chapter since his freshman year, with guidance from his older sister Nandini Gupta, a former Green Hope DECA president herself. 

Gupta initiated a campaign late last year and has been working the past couple months to increase his popularity in order to gain votes from all of the chapters throughout the state. When asked about this thorough process, Gupta revealed, “the initial application was tough to complete and then in Greensboro I interviewed and got tested. I was moved onto the voting round so it was a lot of steps.”

Among the newly voted members of the ‘24-’25 DECA Association Officer Team, Yash Gupta represents Green Hope, and the entire Triad Region, passionately waving to his new constituents. Photo used with permission from Jacob Cowley.

After receiving this position, Gupta already set lofty goals for himself and for his impact both to Green Hope and NC DECA next year. “Going forward, I want to help make both NC DECA and GH DECA members more successful at competition and better prepare them for careers. DECA has done so much for me and I want to make sure everyone else can get the same if not more out of it.“ 

As DECA’s popularity continues to increase, aspiring entrepreneurs have the ability to develop the fundamental skills needed within business. This growth will apply to not only the upcoming International DECA competition in April, but to future educational and occupational opportunities for thousands of students around the country.

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About the Contributor
Justin Jackson, Staff Writer
Justin is a senior at Green Hope, and this is his first year as a Staff Writer. Being in the Math Honors Society, he enjoys tutoring other students struggling with the subject and with SAT prep. Justin hopes to continue his studies outside of high school, wanting to get an MBA in Business with a concentration in Finance. Additionally, Justin is a big part of the Green Hope community as he is a part of many organizations like Student Council, Falcon Frenzy, and on the board of Green Hope's DECA chapter. On top of that, he's also a player on the Men's Soccer and Basketball team at school. If you ever want to grab a bite, you can often find Justin working at a popular Italian restaurant, Lugano's, over the weekend. He is passionate about helping others as well as being true to his interests. Besides school and work, Justin enjoys spending his time listening to music, lifting weights, and hanging out with friends.
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    Tate D JacksonMar 15, 2024 at 10:10 am

    Amazing piece here!!

    Reply