DECA Students Learn New Business Perceptions and Bring Home the Gold in Competition.



From left: Olivia Russell, Chris Hybels, Tori Zehner, Maia Greer. Photo Credit / Atiba Ward

Some students dream of becoming important business owners, and others plan on studying business for other reasons. There is a group at Loy Norrix which focuses on any type of business career, and it’s called DECA.
DECA stands for “Distributive Education Clubs of America.” It’s an organization that specializes in business and focuses in growing students marketing, management, hospitality, services and finance/accounting. The program is available in more than 35 hundred schools, for high school students, college students and advisors.
DECA is a group to help students in the business industry. They cover many topics that have to do with the business work placement. You can join the DECA group for business management, design, fashion and many more relatable business places. DECA memberships are about $16, but because there are different competitions in different locations, the prices vary.
During the competition there are ten minute role plays. Role plays are similar to an interview. The ten minute role plays are given to show the students’ knowledge and skill of the subject covered. One of the DECA leaders are there to listen and evaluate. They ask questions based on what the students major in during the event, but the students never know what is going to be asked.
There are three types of competitions: regionals, states and international. DECA has five emerging leading skills to experience throughout this event: Ignite, elevate, empower, aspire and thrive.
DECA has been at Loy Norrix for over 20 years, but it recently started to gain attention. There are about 25 members from Loy Norrix. The group recently participated in a competition. Five students who participated are going to the finals.
Junior Tori Zehner who is part of the DECA group, recently participated in the one of the competitions and won the three medals to go to the finals. Zehner said that she was very nervous and did not feel ready for the interview. Showing up confident and acting like she knew what she was talking about made a difference.
“I was surprised, I did not expect to win at all. I didn’t really feel prepared, but I performed with confidence and that’s very important,” said Zehner.
Atiba Ward who also teaches other classes like business finance, runs the DECA group at Loy Norrix. He saw potential and wanted to be a part of this great opportunity. Ward wanted to get students involved and he wants to help them strive for success.  
“I saw how good the club educated the students and helped them academically,” Ward said.
The students meet once a week and they talk about ways to fundraise and how to prepare for the final competition.
Loy Norrix students participated in the State Deca meet that was held in Detroit. There were 3 thousand students who came from around the state. Loy Norrix students won three medals, Zehner who competed in Principles of Business Management, received two medals, one for overall performance and a gold medal for top role play in her category. Chris Hybels who competed in Sports and Entertainment Marketing also received a gold medal for top role play in his category.