DECA students compete in national competitions

Published 5:55 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2023

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Five Crenshaw County Career Academy students traveled to Orlando, Florida on April 22-25 and participated in DECA’s annual International Career Development Conference (ICDC). 

Charlie McVay and Nolleigh Reaves competed as a team in Marketing Management Team Decision Making, Eli Nichols engaged in Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Avery Williams participated in the Community Awareness Project competition, and Kendal Nichols was involved in the Integrated Marketing Campaign event. 

Email newsletter signup

According to DECA advisor Cody Nichols, the Crenshaw County Career Academy students competed against an average of 150-200 students from around the nation in their competitive events, which varied from presentations to competency tests and role play scenarios. 

“The Crenshaw County Career Academy students have demonstrated their ability to compete at a high level, and their success is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and talent,” Nichols said.

Crislen Farquhar and Mackenzie Daniel were also eligible to compete, but were unable to attend due to other commitments.

DECA, which previously stood for Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an international organization that prepares high school and college students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. During the school year, approximately 100,000 of DECA’s 224,000 high school student members take part in the organization’s competitive events program, allowing them to compete for local, regional, and association titles. 

The competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development. The top association winners put their talents to the test during the program’s final round of competition at ICDC.

This year’s DECA ICDC featured over 22,000 members and advisors in attendance. In addition to career-based competition, DECA members engaged in leadership academies and networking opportunities with over 80 internationally recognized businesses and universities. Over $200,000 in scholarships and awards were presented to students and teachers for their achievements.

“The chapter was excited to see Eli Nichols awarded a silver ribbon medal as the highest role play score in his section for Sports & Entertainment Marketing for a role play scenario centered on customer service,” Nichols said. “DECA ICDC is extremely competitive as many states have multiple rounds of competition required for national’s eligibility. This is the second year that the Crenshaw County DECA chapter has competed at DECA ICDC, and the students are proud of their accomplishments and I am very proud of them as well.”