The GHS DECA club bonds at State.
The GHS DECA club bonds at State.

DECA Steers Gophers to Success

The GHS chapter has been going strong since 2009

Do you know what DECA is? Have you heard of it? Don’t sweat it; many don’t. DECA stands for (D)istributive (E)ducation (C)lubs of (A)merica. In simple terms, DECA is a way to learn about careers in marketing– such as advertising, content creation, and PR/Communications.

For more than 75 years, DECA clubs have impacted millions of students and advisors. Here at Gresham High School, we’re lucky enough to have a chapter advised by teacher Danna Nelson. It’s been going strong since 2009.

Every year, Nelson takes the DECA students to a state competition. This year, twelve students went on the all-expenses-paid trip, with DECA scholarships covering the cost of the hotel, transportation, and the competition itself. The competition is comparable to a job interview or pitching to a big company, depending on your topic. Kailey Loomis, one of GHS DECA’s social media managers, said about the trip: “It was a nice experience to see exactly how it works. I enjoyed having fun with the students in the hotel because it was all fun and games after competitions. Seriousness wasn’t needed as much as more.”

DECA also holds fundraisers. Most recently, during the Winter Formal dance, DECA members volunteered to work in the student store, half of whose profits went to the Water Project, a foundation that helps underdeveloped African areas get access to water.

The benefits are manifold. According to GHS DECA’s vice president Isaiah Mendez, “DECA is a great thing to have on your resume because once employers hear that it’s a business club, they know you mean business and are down to work. I’ve competed the last two times, and it was a blast. I would tell everyone to compete if that was an option. Join DECA even if it’s not to compete; join because it’s not a bad thing to have on your resume.”

The competition may seem daunting for some people who are curious about the club, but according to GHS DECA’s president, senior Brandon Mitchell, “Don’t be nervous about competing. You’re not forced to compete; it’s an option. I enjoyed the competition partly because it’s a fun experience, the judges aren’t bad, and you make more high school memories with your classmates that you’ll never have the chance to make again.”

Many at GHS need to learn what kind of opportunity awaits them in our DECA chapter. If nothing else, participating in DECA means getting an extra sash at graduation. It sounds like a win-win.

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