The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

    IHS DECA Perseveres at ICDC

    IHS DECA poses with their awards.
    IHS DECA
    IHS DECA poses with their awards.

    From April 25th to May 1st, DECA hosted its annual International Career Development Conference (ICDC) where students from numerous countries such as Jamaica, India, and China competed in business-focused events at Anaheim, California. 

     

    By qualifying through the DECA State competition, 45 delegates from Irvington represented Irvington DECA at ICDC, the largest delegation out of any public high school in California. This competition was structured in a two-part system where competitors in an event would compete within a smaller cohort first and the top teams in each cohort would go on to compete for the coveted DECA glass, reserved for the top 3 teams in each event. Through fierce competition, three teams from Irvington placed in the top 10 and 5 teams finished top 20, representing Irvington on an international stage.

    Competitors began preparing for this conference from the beginning of the year through weekly workshops that developed their skills. Additionally, DECA President Shubha Vharagiri (12) shares, “2 months before the conference, the workshops became more focused on one-on-one help. We also created a network of DECA alumni who were willing to help our members.”

     In addition, Irvington DECA created a mentorship program which paired up every member with an officer, helping students maximize their potential and grow. Amanda Lai (11), an ICDC delegate, explains, “The mentorship program gave us an officer who could give us personalized feedback outside of the actual sessions. This helped the students present their best selves at ICDC.” 

    As a part of the conference, students met with college representatives from business-focused schools. Lai explains, “Meeting the college representatives was extremely helpful because I got insight on what majors I was interested in and what colleges provided.” This aspect of the conference also provided a networking opportunity as Vharagiri  says, “One of our members presented on his nonprofit organization that he’s had for multiple years and the judge was so impressed that he asked for a business card to contact him later on.” Additionally, students were able to network themselves to explore certain programs or scholarships they may consider applying to.

    However, the conference was much more than just a competition. It involved a trip to Universal Studios to give the hardworking students a well-deserved break from preparing for their competitions. Mr. Ballado, DECA’s advisor, shares, “We spend the whole day there and the kids love it.” The group visited La Placita: the earliest community established in Riverside County. Additionally, the long bus ride to Southern California gave the members more time to bond and create memories. Lai adds, “It was an incredible experience to relieve a bit of stress while preparing for AP exams, focusing on extracurriculars, and competitions.”

    This weeklong conference was a result of a full-year of planning. Mr. Ballado explained, “The preparation for ICDC starts in the summer when we pick our officer team.” The officer team has multiple areas to plan for, including weekly workshops to prepare DECA students for competitions throughout the year and logistics behind the conference itself. Vharagiri details, “We had to get started weeks and weeks before the conference on the logistical planning such as organizing chapter meetings, registering everyone, distributing ICDC blazers out, among other things.” Mr. Ballado adds, “We had meetings every day during lunch and had to plan the hotels, busses, make sure everyone’s name is spelled correctly, notify the teachers, have chaperone meetings, have parent meetings, and make sure all the paperwork is approved.” 

    All the officers’ and organizers’ hard work resulted in a success, leaving attendees feeling satisfied with this year’s ICDC experience. Lai reflects, “It was really inspiring seeing so many high schoolers in one place who were so passionate about business and see all their hard work pay off.” 

    About the Contributor
    Devam Parekh
    Devam Parekh, Staff Writer
    Devam Parekh (11) is excited to be a part of The Voice for the first time. He joined The Voice to be more engaged with school activities and further his writing abilities.
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