2022 DECA CDC: Green Hope Soars Toward Internationals

DECA Finds Success Preparing Students for The Business World

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Nandini Gupta

Green Hope’s chapter of DECA placed highly at the state competition on February 26th.

Noreen Mohamed, News Editor

On February 26th, 2022, the Green Hope DECA team traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina to compete in the state-wide DECA Career Development Conference (CDC). With 18 state finalists and 12 state qualifiers, the team is off to the DECA International CDC in Atlanta, Georgia this upcoming April.  Although exciting, the impacts of the club go beyond qualifying for state and international competitions.

DECA’s purpose is to prepare students across the nation for real-world business and marketing implementations, and that mission holds true at Green Hope. DECA allows students to hone their leadership skills, and, ultimately, collaborate with others.  This collaboration is meant to develop business strategies and solutions within a set time frame.  DECA members perform all of these tasks in the presence of a judge.

According to the school’s DECA members, the endless amount of teamwork and collaboration between the club’s advisor, its student-run board, and its participants is what sets DECA apart from other clubs at Green Hope.

DECA has allowed me to challenge myself and do something spontaneous that I wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for the club.”

— Saesha Agarwal ('24)

In an interview with the Green Hope Falcon, Sophomore Saesha Agarwal stated, “I was able to find out that I am interested in different types of business fields, and DECA has enabled me to test out various skills for those specific fields… I’ve also made a lot of new friends through DECA.”

Mr. Matthew Katsuleris, the Career Development Coordinator, has served as the club’s advisor for the past three years at Green Hope. When interviewed by the Falcon, Mr. Katsuleris noted, “It’s a student organization, so I believe that the club should be student-led.”

Katsuleris emphasized that the club officers continue to put in the hard work needed to prepare the team for the Conference each year. From business and marketing resources to basic workshops at school, the students have propelled others to gain a better understanding of what the business world is like and how success can be achieved. 

Senior Nandini Gupta, the Green Hope DECA President, provided her insight on the club and what it means to her after being in the club for four years.

Nandini Gupta has been involved in DECA since freshman year, which has culminated in her being the President of the organization this year. (Nandini Gupta)

“I’ve learned a lot from the club. I’ve gained a lot from the club, and I ultimately want to help other people have the same experiences that I did with it. I believe it’s important for other high schoolers to understand what their potential is in the business world, whether that be at competitions like CDC or even just by developing skills needed for the future.”

Gupta is also this year’s recipient of the North Carolina DECA Board of Directors Scholarship, which was created “to assist members in advancing their educational dreams.” This scholarship granted her $40,000 for being heavily involved in the club and a large contributor to the work needed to run the chapter.

She stressed just how much the club has grown since her freshman year in 2018. Though the club has experienced challenges such as COVID-19 restrictions in accordance with district policies, its officers have still managed to propel Green Hope students in the direction of success within the business realm.

“We have, as a board, been able to see the significant impact of the new preparation strategies and techniques over the past three years. It’s been amazing to see because I know it’s helped all those who are directly involved in the club,” stated Gupta.

Tarun Rudran, another senior, also explained how the club has benefitted him as an individual. As someone interested in majoring in Business, Rudran included that, “DECA is a great way to gain business experience while also making and strengthening friendships.”

Being a part of DECA has allowed me to both work on my problem-solving skills and my presentational skills to become a better and more experienced candidate for future work in the real world.”

— Kayla Gordon ('23)

Similarly, one of the 12 state qualifiers, Junior Kayla Gordon, spoke highly of the club and the board’s preparation for the general body members throughout the DECA season. She added, “our club leaders served as a constant source of support in helping us new competitors learn methods to compete.”

As a first-year member of the club, Gordon chose to compete in the entrepreneurship category of the CDC. 

“I have always enjoyed creating solutions to problems that people have, and I have base experience from my Entrepreneurship course at Green Hope! I was luckily able to perform well on the written test section of my event, which allowed me to be one of the top scorers in my category in addition to being one of the top performers for each of the scenario-based prompt events,” stated Gordon.

Like the other DECA members, Gordon is excited to see what DECA holds for her both at International CDC and the future as a whole.

“I am super grateful for the support from my fellow teammates and the help they provided throughout in allowing me to do as well as I did. I am looking forward to competing with them again at ICDC,” added Kayla.

Members of Green Hope DECA hold up the “DECA Diamond” (the symbol of the organization) at the state competition. (Nandini Gupta)