The State of DECA at Vista Ridge


–Saniya Oak, Madison Fuentes, & Sydney Ross celebrated their victory at DECA state.

Neel Oak, Guest Reporter

Numbers shot through her mind at lightning speed, high speed calculations over the money of their business ran through her mind like a freight train out of control. Her mind was on fire, she had to meet the deadline otherwise her team wouldn’t be able to compete in the first events of the new year. ‘No matter’ she thought, she had been in this grind before, she could easily do it another time as well.

“This year was wildly competitive, we had to make sure as many people as possible could get past District and into State & ICDC.” Saniya, a DECA Officer for Vista Ridge, said. “We had to interview people around the clock before the year began to make sure everyone who entered into the roster was fully serious about competing. Last year we had trouble from a few students, so this year we had to be extra thorough.”

DECA is a business club focused on introducing students into the competitive world of business through a series of harmless but character testing & stress inducing events and competitions. Many current & former members of the club remark that it was one of the highlights of their high school career, the work never felt pointless, and they found their calling in life through the club.

But DECA this year has been swamped with new competitors, over a hundred new kids have entered into the club hoping to participate in the events that members get to experience. Mainly ICDC, an end of year event that allows DECA kids to visit other states in the country and visit attractions like Universal & the Coca Cola Museum.

“Because of how many seniors made the trip sound so fun & relaxing, which it was in fact, a lot more kids decided to compete in DECA this year. Which made this far more competitive then last year or the years before, which were far more controlled & contained. This year was chaotic cause we weren’t expecting so many new competitors to join the club.”

Some people feel that DECA has lost some of its main purpose this year because of all the new competitors. Who seem more interested in attaining the rewards of DECA and less so in engaging with their material and learning about the many aspects of business & entrepreneurship.

“This years competitors seemed a lot less enthusiastic about competing in the competitions than last years teams. I know we had to deal with multiple incidents of teams copying papers from past competitions, other school’s have encountered issues with AI, and there’s been more abuse of respect between members.” Madison Fuente’s stated.

Though while problems have arose from the flood of new competitors entering into the club and new tools like AI entering from left field. Many members still believe that DECA has stood firm and held true to its values as a club intent on fostering highschool students into the business men & women of tomorrow’s America.

“I still believe DECA has stayed true to its sole purpose. Sometimes it feels like its more about the competition then learning the fundamentals of business but at the end of the day you always learn something new about the business world.” Madison stated.

Saniya & Madison both believe that their initial impressions of DECA, of it being a rewarding but intensely difficult club, have not changed even with most of the seniors leaving last year & the flood of new competitors this year.

“While DECA is really difficult, so difficult that you’re way more sleep deprived than the average high school student. It’s still immensely rewarding, the work you finish doesn’t feel like work, it feels like an accomplishment or another step to success. DECA hasn’t changed at its core since I started participating during my freshman year.” Saniya stated.

In fact, although they aren’t able to compete in the coming years for their DECA clubs. Many alumni still come back to help new competitors with their project, or to help judge DECA events as well.

“Alumni always come back to help their chapter when they can, a lot remember their DECA years super fondly after all. Plus, many of them take classes in college’s near by like UT at Austin. So they can easily make the drive back to Vista Ridge on days when DECA kid’s practice their presentations.” Madison stated.

And it seems as if they are right, DECA has experienced an incredibly successful year by usual metrics when it comes to getting as many people as possible to State & ICDC competitions. Both old & new competitors have reached the top of their DECA journey, and many participants believe the next year and the year after that will continue to be the same in that regard. 

“My views on DECA as a whole have not changed since I’ve joined, the club continues to meet expectations and exceed them in my opinion.” Madison stated. Saniya added that “DECA hasn’t changed a bit at its core, in my opinion. There are still problems to weeded out for Vista Ridges club specifically, making sure that even competitors who don’t get into the written events still get to participate in the other DECA competitions and get into ICDC are more successful. But in respect towards my previous experiences, DECA has still yet to fail in meeting its own goals.” 

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