DECA breaks record for number of first place wins

DECA earned the title of Blue Chip Chapter at their state competition on the weekend of March 7. The award is the highest honor a chapter can earn in Virginia.

“This [award] is something we’ve been working towards for a while,” DECA advisor Jen Hendrickson said.

The team also broke the Marshall record for most first-place wins, with six participants topping their respective categories.

Forty-one participants qualified for the international competition, requiring a top seven or eight placement in their respective categories.

Only 25 students progressed to the international competition last year.

Additionally, 12 students were recognized for their performance at the competition, making 53 participants recognized overall.

Twenty-two members were also accepted into the Virginia DECA Honor society.

“This was the most competitive [year] out of all the years we have had the Virginia DECA competition,” senior Catalina Rivera said.

Rivera also earned a $1,000 scholarship for an essay she wrote about her experiences in DECA.

Rivera’s paper was a compilation of her own thoughts and letters from those she had worked with through internships and community projects.

“I wrote about all the good things in DECA, about how I’ve helped so many people through what I’ve done and how it’s really changed my views on life,” Rivera said.

Juniors Cindy Pham and Jessica Taylor placed first in Buying and Merchandising for their results on a marketing test and role-playing performance.

“It was nice knowing that our hard work paid off,” Pham said. “Ms. Hendrickson prepared us a lot prior to the competition.”

Hendrickson was also recognized for her work and received the 2012 Outstanding DECA Advisor award.

The international competition will be held from April 28 to May 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah.