Students Experience Different Aspects of the DECA States Competition


Phot provided by Mahima Atmavilas

Charlotte Maloney, junior at FHS, getting second place in her event, Business Growth Plan.

Mahi Parikh, Staff Writer

On March 3-5, around 91 students from Freedom High School went on a trip to VA Beach for the State Leadership Conference as part of DECA.

DECA is a business club where students are able to take part in district, state, and international competitions. Students are able to compete in different events such as roleplays, written events and group events. 

The preparation process is different for each event. For students who took part in a roleplay, they had to study for a 100 question test about different business topics and a roleplay on their specific topic. For students who had a written event, though, it was different, as they didn’t have a test or roleplay.

“I practiced my pitch and wrote a 17 page written entry of my business plan. My public speaking experience for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy also really prepared me for this opportunity,” said sophomore Mahima Atmavilas, who had a written event called EIB, or Independent Business Plan.

All the competitions were completed on Saturday, March 4, at different times throughout the day. Students had to take a bus to the Convention Center where they would take turns with their assigned judge. 

“During the competition, I was nervous about the logistics of getting my props and presentation technology to the judging area by myself. In addition, the competition ran an hour and 45 minutes behind schedule, and this made me tremendously nervous,” Atmavilas said. 

Besides the competition aspect, there are many social elements to the trip that makes it a unique and enjoyable experience. On Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday morning, students went to the Convention Center for events such as the opening ceremony and awards. Besides these events and the competition, though, students were able to hangout with their friends, around the area, during their free time.

“SLC was a fun experience for me, in terms of the social aspect. I had a great time with my friends and it was really cool to meet old friends and new people,” Atmavilas said.

Many students came home from this competition with a medal for doing well in their event or an opportunity to go to the next level of the competition, called ICDC, or International Career Development Conference, in Orlando, Florida on April 22-25, 2023. 

“Placing in the top 8 and qualifying for ICDC international competition was the cherry on top,” said Atmavilas, one of around 30 students who are going to ICDC.