Thirty DECA students from Somerset High School (SHS) and four chaperones started their journey to the annual DECA International Career and Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida on Friday, April 26. The students who attended the conference 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 Saturday evening the students attended the DECA grand opening session at the Orange County Convention Center where over 21,000 DECA members, advisors, and chaperones were in attendance. The students listened to some motivational speakers and also saw a performance by the popular Blue Man Group.
On Sunday, April 28, SHS DECA students registered their DECA projects and took marketing tests as part of their competition. Upon completion of that part of their competition, the students then spent the rest of the afternoon at Walt Disney World Epcot Amusement Park. On Monday, April 29 the DECA students spent the day presenting their DECA projects and role plays to the judges. That night the students visited Disney Springs.
On Tuesday, April 30 the students attended the mini, grand, and Kentucky award ceremonies. The following students received an Award of Excellence Certificate for their role play event at the closing Kentucky awards ceremony: Payton Burkett, Sarah Davis, Josh Heuer, Jackson Horn, Amin Katanbaf, Lyndsey Kelley, K'LeAnn Morgan, Alison Lewis, Devan Neely, Laila Qasem, and Hope Saindon.
On Wednesday, May 1 the students visited the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure Parks where they got to experience many various aspects of movies and theme rides.
The students arrived back home on Thursday, May 2 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.