Irvington DECA Triumphs at Norcal CDC


Irvington DECA chapter holding their Norcal CDC awards.

From Jan. 14 to 16, Irvington DECA competed at the Northern California Career Development Conference (Norcal CDC) and shattered all-time in-person club records for awards. Irvington DECA brought home an unprecedented total of 42 Top 3 trophies, 19 more than the club’s previous record. Irvington DECA also sweeped at 3 events, where Irvington teams won all the trophies for each specific event.

“Just looking at Irvington, the name being called up over and over again, beating all the records that we’ve set was really a proud moment,” said Irvington DECA co-president Aryan Dua (12). “The first sweep [we ever had] was  actually back when I was a freshman. Seeing Irvington DECA grow to the point where we have three sweeps this year is crazy.”

Irvington DECA started preparing members from the beginning of the school year by hosting weekly workshops, practice events, and minicons (mini-conferences) to simulate real conferences. The weekly workshops, held on Wednesdays afterschool, prepared members for their events in two-hour sessions using lesson plans that the  officer team prepared back in the summer. Additionally, the team set up mentorship groups, pairing groups of members with an officer in order to answer more specific questions about event preparation and competition. 

“The officer team offered four or five different practice tests and corrections to prepare us,” said Irvington competitor Akshath Kumaresan (11). “They also offered a lot of help in terms of doing practice role plays and doing practice presentations. Even leading up to the contest, they would be up until 2 A.M. helping people.”

Last year’s DECA conferences were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to differences in competition and the removal of other in-person experiences while at conferences. Many members missed competing in-person with their friends and peers, and the experience of staying overnight, dining out, and being awake all night rehearsing for events together. 

“COVID really dragged our chapter down more than it brought us up,” said Dua. “Many first and second-year competitors had never attended an in-person conference. But it was great to see our young stars… rising to the occasion and winning.”

Irvington DECA also used Norcal CDC this year to assess which aspects of competition they could improve in. The officers plan to help members polish their written reports and reduce as many unnecessary score reductions as possible. The officer team also considers their competitors well-rounded and has faith in their success at the next level.

In order to prepare for the state conference at the end of February, Irvington DECA plans to help members finalize their reports and maximize the winning momentum from Norcal CDC. Practice will also include continuing weekly Wednesday after-school workshops, as well as implementing individual review sessions with members. Competitors continue to prepare until they fly out together to Anaheim, CA to compete at the state conference.