DECA guides students towards future careers through competitions


Max Berlin (Left), Wendy Miedema (Middle) and Ari Johnson (Right) stand together with their award at DECA districts. This victory led them to DECA nationals.

Nia Moncrief, Multimedia Editor

Walking into Atiba Ward’s classroom after school, you are often met with a room filled with future entrepreneurs and business owners practicing role-plays and going over flash cards. Welcome to Loy Norrix DECA.

Norrix 25 DECA team has won the annual district Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competition guided by business teacher Atiba Ward. The DECA competition took place Mar. 10 through the 12 in downtown Detroit, Michigan. 

Over the past few months, Loy Norrix’s DECA team has been preparing for their annual DECA conference. With great efforts from all students, eight students received awards which included plaques or medals. 

“At States me and my team won a medal because our business was gold certified, meaning our business was legitimate and we made money off of it. Our business was gold certification quality. We automatically get a medal, which takes us to Nationals if we didn’t qualify,” said junior Max Berlin.

DECA is a business based club that influences students to prepare themselves for college and/or further career choices. This organization creates a safe space for students to put their ideas into scenarios that happen all around them. 

According to DECA, “DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high school and colleges around the globe.” DECA uses the great minds of students to make great leaders and create independent thinkers.

“We have 38 different areas of DECA, and kids get a chance to get a snapshot of that profession when they do that role play,” said DECA advisor Atiba Ward. “DECA also offers conferences, so when you go there, they often have workshops about different leadership or business opportunities. Many schools have school stores, so they’re able to run a business with their school, and this is considered their class. That helps them prepare for the real world.”

DECA doesn’t require much prior knowledge and/or experience in order to join. Many students join with the willingness to put themselves in the spotlight with little to no experience. 

“We learn it and we practice it. Some kids have family businesses which is a bonus, so they live and do business, and that kind of stuff helps as well, but there is no prerequisite,” said Ward.

 DECA has changed the lives of many students whether that be in the classroom or outside of the classroom. This environment has created a safe space to share and create ideas with others and be given the opportunity to have these ideas pitched to judges and scored.

“It feels like every single time our group gets to go out and explore new cities, we always just have so much fun. You create so many new relationships and new friendships that you didn’t have before,” said Junior DECA member Max Berlin. “It’s always a lot of fun. I think the biggest part of it is being in an environment where you can create new friends that you didn’t think you would make before in a new city: that’s probably the most fun part.” 

DECA, here at Loy Norrix, is a group of individuals who come together and compete in competition at the district, state and regional level. They also help out the community and complete business and entrepreneurship related challenges. Most DECA students compete  for a personal challenge while other students do it for the educational opportunity. This competition can mean a lot, whether that be small or big.

“It definitely meant a lot. The stakes this year were very big, nationals is in Orlando, and we got a trip to Disney World because of our win, so it meant a lot for sure and doing it with my friends,” said Berlin.