With nearly 215,000 members across the globe, DECA stands out as one of the most successful business orientated student organizations in the world. It’s 3,500 high School chapters are located on multiple continents around the world and encompass about 200,000 members. Interest for the organization succeeds the high school level as chapters are being hosted at 275 colleges and universities making up the last 15,000 students. These chapters can be found in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain.
As far away as some of these places seem, the beneficial reach of DECA even reaches our Little Rhody, and even closer North Kingstown High School as Life Changer of the Year winner, Mr. Garland serves as the advisor of the local chapter. DECA’s history dates back 75 years when the organization was established. The name DECA stood for Distributive Education Clubs of America but through the years the name was dropped as the organization had evolved and outgrown its original vision.
DECA makes use of a comprehensive learning program that strives to prepare students for college and future careers. The major initiatives of DECA are to create experienced leaders who can influence and lead their peers with professionalism. Incoming members endeavor to reach the high standards of the club as the completion of this task can come with great benefits like academic preparedness. DECA seeks to encourage competition through the use of rigorous problem solving connected to business. The aim is that members use their newly acquired knowledge to come up with constructive solutions.
Student leadership is also an integral component of the DECA club here at school as the club makes use of different specialized roles like the treasurer and social media expert. Senior, Larry Dion serves as the president of the club with Kai Gallman serving as his second in command in the role of vice president. After sitting down with the charismatic Vice President, Kai Gallman shared some of his thoughts with the newspaper. “My favorite part about DECA is the networking. You meet so many people and open so many doors to future careers. I’ve already received an offer for an internship because of DECA”.
The local club participates in statewide and national competitions like the International Career Development Conference which is going to be held in Nashville this year. 18,000 students, advisors, business people, and alumni from all across the world come to compete, develop, and gather their knowledge and skills in these 4 day events. Competitors are assigned a written test to examine their knowledge and after that are given a shared case study in which they are expected to come up with a solution to present to a panel of judges. Some prizes at the national level include thousand dollar scholarships and at the same time many businesses are keeping an eye out for any promising students as seen in the case of Kai Gallman who had this to say in terms of competing for his chapter, “The business aspect is very fleshed out and the competitions are fulfilling and complex. Traveling around the country is also extremely fun”. North Kingstown also competes against other Rhode Island chapters at the career development conference which is hosted at Johnson and Wales. These smaller scale competitions are still very intriguing and has about 300-400 competitors.
The club meets every Thursday in room 110 and is already almost full as interest keeps growing for a chance to land a spot in the organization. The North Kingstown chapter is one of the biggest chapters in Rhode Island and have always had success in competitions. Advisor Mr. Garland is always excited with the opportunity to take a new student under his wing but also had this to say to anyone interested in joining. “So when it comes to new members, we don’t just want people that are interested in putting it on their resume but students that really are interested in learning the principles of business and finance and want to further develop their entrepreneurial abilities”. Once again DECA gives the chance for students to jump start their careers in business and at the same time make a connection with a group of individuals who are just as interested in business as you are. You won’t regret it!