: DECA students from Somerset High School started their journey to the annual DECA International Career and Development Conference (ICDC) in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, April 21st. The first stop was “DECA Day” at Six Flags over Georgia. Saturday night the students attended the DECA opening session at the Mercedes Benz Dome where over 20,000 DECA members, advisors, and chaperones were in attendance. The students who attended had qualified to attend the ICDC Conference by placing in the top three in their marketing event at the DECA State Conference in March.
On Sunday, April 22nd DECA members from both schools registered their DECA projects and took marketing tests as part of their competition. Upon completion of that part of their competition, the students visited the World of Coke, where they saw various marketing elements in action. Later that evening the students went to Top Golf where they got to try out their golf skills in a top notch driving facility. On Monday, April 23rd the DECA students presented their DECA projects and role plays to the judges. Later that evening the students attended the DECA sponsored Andy Grammer concert.
On Tuesday, April 23rd the students attended three awards sessions. The first session was the mini DECA awards session at the Mercedes Benz Dome. At this session the DECA students in the top three places in their competition flights were called up to the stage to receive awards for their events. The top scoring individuals/teams were then sent on to the final round of competition. Somerset High School’s Independent Business Plan Team consisting of Lyndsey Kelley, Devan Neely, and Laila Qasem were called up to the stage as part of the finalists. They competed at 2:20pm later that day in their final round of competition. The second award session was held on Tuesday night. It was the Kentucky award session and several of the students received an Award of Excellence for scoring a 70% or higher in their competitive event. Those who received Award of Excellence Certificates for their scores from Somerset High School were: Amin Katanbaf, Chase Cimala, Aryan Patel, Alison Lewis, Ashton Little, Lyndsey Kelley, Devan Neely, and Laila Qasem. The DECA Grand Award Ceremony was held on Tuesday night at the Mercedes Benz Dome. As the names were called for the Independent Business Plan, everyone was anxiously waiting to hear the top 10 finalists. Much to everyone’s delight, the team of Lyndsey Kelley, Devan Neely, and Laila Qasem were called to the stage as one of the top 10 finalists. Later the names of the top three winners were called and even though the team of Kelley, Neely, and Qasem was not called, the excitement for what they had accomplished could not be diminished. They had excelled over 150 other teams in their event from not just the top competitors from the United States, but also from 8 other countries!
Ashton Little also represented the state of Kentucky as the Vice President of Public Relations at the DECA ICDC Conference.
The Somerset High School DECA students arrived back home on Wednesday, April 25th with a wealth of new experiences and knowledge of marketing. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition. Debbie Harris is the Somerset High School DECA sponsor.
Front row from left to right: Alison Lewis, Hope Saindon, Sarah Davis, Sufia Ahmed, Laila Qasem, Elisabeth Barnett, Destiny Sanchez, K’LeAnn Morgan, Lyndsey Kelley, Devan Neely
Back row: Chase Cimala, Aryan Patel, Will Powers, Amin Katanbaf, Ashton Little, Max Heuer, Jackson Horn