DECA Students Set Records at State Competition

By Keya Sampat and Dia Jain

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  • Students get information about colleges and business related activities that they offer.

    Photo By Keya Sampat

  • Students check out college booths while waiting for the opening ceremony to begin.

    Photo By Keya Sampat

  • DECA students get ready to hear speeches from the DECA state officers at the opening ceremony.

    Photo By Keya Sampat

  • ICDC qualifiers, Ian Chiu ’19, James Joh ’19, and Anna Chiu ’21 pose with sponsor, Jeffery Siler, after they received their award.

    Photo By Courtesy of Jeffery Siler

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Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) students were filled with hope and excitement on Thursday, Feb. 21 as 214 Westwood students left to Dallas to compete at the State Career Development Conference (SCDC). Students arrived ready to perform their role play, or present their written event presentation to a judge.

During the three competition days, DECA members prepared, competed, bonded, and learned how to work with each other. During their free time, there were several activities available around the hotels, such as visiting the Dallas World Aquarium or the Dallas Museum of Art.

“In my spare time I hung out with all of my friends. We have a tradition where we all go out to eat pho and I always look forward to that because it’s always a good time,” April Gao ‘20 said.

Due to the various competition times, students had to learn how to effectively manage their time. Students had to practice for DECA, finish homework, and make sure they were not late to their event.

“At the DECA state competition, I learned the value of practice and hard work. Every person in DECA tries their best and competes to their fullest. I got to meet some amazing people there, and I made new friends,” Joshua Robert ‘21 said. “Through this, I saw that advancing and winning takes a lot of dedication and I hope I can continually achieve that throughout my high school career.”

After the first two days of events, the awards ceremony finally arrived. Students entered the ceremony filled with anticipation and nerves as they hoped to get on stage to receive a medal.

“During the award ceremony, I was honestly extremely nervous. I knew that the team I was a part of had spent a lot of time in our campaign, but you can never be 100 percent sure about the results,” Robert said. “After we were called as finalists, we got very excited but we knew that we hadn’t won yet. When we received the trophy, all three of us were ecstatic. My brain was solely focused on the results and I was delighted that we achieved our goal.”

At the DECA state competition, 4,380 students and 224 schools all across Texas competed. Last year around 50 Westwood students advanced to the International Career Development Conference(ICDC). This year, Westwood set a record with 71 students heading off to Orlando, Florida from April 27-30.

“I feel absolutely amazing. I’m still emotional and on cloud nine and it’s not just the pure number of students it’s just that I saw so many kids learning, improving, finding their passion, and just having fun. It was just awesome,” sponsor Jeffery Siler said.

Below is a list of those who have advanced to the next level of competition, ICDC.

Vikram Joshi ‘21 – Accounting Applications

Tanya Chen ‘19 – Accounting Applications

Alex Lee ‘20, Eric Wang ‘20, Jeffrey You ‘20 – Buying and Merchandising Operations Research

Mihika Birmiwal ‘20, Rehana Shaik ‘20, Sindhuja Uppuluri ‘20 – Business Services Operations

Richard Lai ‘19, Richard Liu ‘19 – Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making

Dia Jain ‘21, Anavi Nayak ‘21 – Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making

Lauren King ‘20, Jessica Song ‘20 – Creative Marketing Project

Kellie Medina ‘19, Avi Saini ‘19, Andrea Yi ‘19 – Community Service Project

Anna Chiu ‘21, Ian Chiu ‘19, James Joh ‘19 – Franchise Business Plan

Sathvik Allala ‘20, Grace Chen ‘20, Chris Fan ‘20 – Independent Business Plan

Shreyes Kaliyur ‘20, Frank Lai ‘20 – Innovation Plan

Tharun Vijayakumar ‘20 – Entrepreneurship

Akshata Badrayani ‘21, Adwita Gadre ‘21 – Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making

Aditi Merchant ‘19 – Financial Consulting

Pooja Enagala ‘19, Madhuri Neralla ‘19, Karthik Shetty ‘19- Financial Literacy Promotion Project

Swapnil Dash ‘21, Joshua Robert ‘21, Sahil Shah ‘21 – Financial Literacy Promotion Project

Sarah Liau ‘22, Joanne Liu ‘22, Amanda Yin ‘22 – Finance Operations

Dylan Dong ‘20, Brandon Wang ‘20, Justice Yoo ‘20 – Finance Operations Research

Adam Kelley ‘19, David Xu ‘19 – Financial Services Team Decision Making

Aman Tewari ‘22 – Hotel and Lodging Management

Emily Gao ‘19 – Human Resources Management

Jasmine Wang ‘20, Sarah Wang ‘20, Alice Zhang ‘20- Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research

Nikita Karthik ‘20, Anish Maddipoti ‘20, Andy Tutuc ‘20 – International Business Plan

Erin Xu ‘21, Erika Yao ‘20, Alena Zhang ‘20 – International Business Plan

Ridha Mirza ‘19, Pritika Paramasivam ‘19, Sruthi Ramaswamy ‘20 – International Business Plan

Maanasa Cherukuvada ‘19, Srilekha Cherukuvada ‘21 – Integrated Marketing Campaign Product

Andrew Ditterline ‘20, Zane Nasrallah ‘20 – Integrated Marketing Campaign Service

Jenny Xu ‘19 – Marketing Communications

Elisa Baxter ‘19, Krishna Shamanna ‘19 – Marketing Management Team Decision Making

Sumedha Jayagopal ‘22 – Principles of Business Management and Administration

Emily Lu ‘19 – Personal Financial Literacy

Anjali Ashar ‘20- Principles of Marketing

Nirupam Kushalnagar ‘22- Principles of Marketing

Himanshu Reddy ‘20 – Professional Selling

Saavan Myneni ‘20 – Quick Services Restaurant Management

Pranav Srinivasan ‘21 – Quick Services Restaurant Management

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