All in for Atlanta

Multiple Millard West DECA members qualify in Internationals


Photo Courtesy of Millard West DECA Instagram

Millard West DECA outside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in their trip to Atlanta for the DECA International Competition. The event lasted from April 23-26 with the students eligible to achieve widening of their skills in each of their respective topics. “I would really just encourage people to join DECA because it’s a great resume builder. Along with giving students just general life skills that are going to make them competitive in any career,” DECA sponsor Ashley Dworak said. “Really, a lot of the competitions and things we do are centered around business content, but all of the skills in which they’re learning and improving on is really gaining practice for them.”

Sam Whittaker, Staff Reporter

In the city of Atlanta, from April 23-26, Millard West DECA members traveled to compete in the International Career Development Conference. The event welcomed students from all around the world with roughly over 18,000 in attendance. 

DECA members had to go through State which consisted of a 100 question test based on the industry a student selected to represent along with role plays. If qualified, members headed to Internationals in Atlanta to compete in the International competition. In total, seven students qualified with Senior Connor Baker in Accounting Applications claiming top 10 in the world for his category. Sophomore Quentin Nelson represented Principles of Business Management and Administration, and senior Gavyn Hoff represented Apparel and Accessories Marketing. Both placed in the top 20% of their categories. Others who qualified included the topics of Human Resources Management, Principles of Hospitality and Tourism, Quick Serve Restaurant Management and Food Marketing Series. 

“I thought it was pretty difficult but really fun,” Baker said. “It was on a whole ‘nother level, and I didn’t expect to make it into the finalists. I really was happy, but also surprised with the results. It was just a ton of fun. You get to go on all kinds of crazy trips during the school year and meet just tons of new people.”

Millard West’s DECA members in attendance had just over a month to prepare for the event with various review materials to help ace their quizzes from flashcards to online study tools. Students had to take a test about their subjects, along with completing a role play, but it meant much more than a competitive event to some.

“I met a bunch of people from all these different places and made a lot of new friends of people who I never thought I would make friends with,” junior Saddie Kottich said. “I learned so much but mainly how to communicate better with my team because we spent so much time together, and I learned how to approach people and if something doesn’t go right it’s okay.”

Along with growing skills, the students made memories they wouldn’t forget. Staying persistent really helped push the group to Internationals and they weren’t the only ones proud.

“We’ve seen growth and improvement among all of our competitors,” DECA sponsor Ashley Dworak said. “Over the past year, we really just kind of like to recognize all of them for their growth in the area they chose to compete in. They can use this within really any career field and it just helps build their confidence and they end up growing really close friendships with people that are in DECA, so it’s a great kind of social leadership opportunity for students to be involved with.”

As DECA wraps up the year, they’ll be reflecting and celebrating on the successful run with presenting the winners at a board meeting and with the DECA Honors Night banquet. Along with setting new goals, the group will be looking forward to being back on the prowl and hunting for another International and State appearance.