Business is booming in the DECA Club! DECA is a club at Blind Brook High School that helps students learn about finance, marketing, hospitality, and business management. Each year there are role play events, an exam, and an online business simulation that the club members participate in
There is also an award ceremony at the end of the main role play competition. Each category has first, second, third, fourth, and fifth place winners. Participants also get a grade on how well they did when presenting to the judge, as well as the exam that they must take beforehand to qualify.
Last year, the competition that Blind Brook DECA participated in was at Rockland Community College. For the role play event, each member chooses what category they would like to compete in. They receive a prompt, along with their role in a certain business situation, and the certain points they need to hit while talking. Ten minutes are allotted to take notes on the prompt, and the time with the judge is about five to ten minutes. When presenting, participants are alone with the judge, and not in front of a large group of people. Most members from last year’s competition won awards, and Blind Brook DECA even qualified for states.
This year, the club is running a little different due to the pandemic, but that is not stopping Blind Brook DECA from participating in important events. They actively hold online meetings and take every opportunity to partake in virtual events.
The club members still took the cluster exams, as they were planning to hold a virtual competition this year. They were to submit a video of their role play as a YouTube video link, and have the judges review it. Unfortunately, this part of the competition was suddenly cancelled, because the role plays were complicated to hold virtually. Thus, the competition was based only on the cluster exam scores. Although this was disheartening to its members, Blind Brook DECA is still getting involved with other engaging activities.
Junior Treasurer Carly Mallah explains, “I think [DECA] is a really good opportunity to see how different businesses work and there are a lot of fun competitions and simulations that we do.” In addition to the exams and role play events, DECA members can also still participate in a simulation where the participants run their own business. They can run restaurants, hotels, stadiums, and more.
DECA has partnered up with Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), to organize the FIDM Entrepreneur of Tomorrow challenge. The Blind Brook DECA Club encouraged its members to participate in this challenge, because it would teach them the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. The participants were to design their own product and explain it in a four minute YouTube video. In the video they had to explain how it works, their target market for that product, pricing, and other important business aspects.
Second year member of the club, Jennifer Mckay, participated in the FIDM challenge. She worked with two other Blind Brook students, Kelly Ma and Danielle Cappelli. The young entrepreneur explains, “My group is working on a business called Sustainable Stitches. We upcycle plastic bags into fashionable accessories.” Mckay says that this is a great opportunity to not only help the environment, but to help people develop their sense of style along the way!
Mckay expresses that “FIDM is a great way to prepare students for future entrepreneurship, and get creative as well.” The DECA club as a whole has proved to be a great way for students to get involved in the business world in creative ways.