DECA adjusts to virtual setting

Drew+Braaten+and+Zack+Zens%2C+class+of+2020%2C+attended+the+DECA+state+competition+last+year.

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Drew Braaten and Zack Zens, class of 2020, attended the DECA state competition last year.

As the DECA team prepares for another year of meetings and competitions, things are looking quite different in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Advisor Mr. Brandn Lindsey and Homestead Chapter President, Manav Shah, senior, are getting creative with adjusting to a mainly virtual setting.

DECA is a club that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. It gives high schoolers an opportunity to take a glimpse at the real world and network with people from all over the world. Students attend competitions on regional, national and international levels in different events.

For a team that relies on in person competitions and networking in the business world, COVID-19 has proved difficult. “The challenge will be to provide our students with the same networking and learning opportunities, even if the setting is different than in years past,” Lindsey said.

After holding their first virtual meeting the team is hoping to grow from 25 to 40 active members. They also want to prioritize making connections with local businesses. “We want our chapter to be more involved in creating beneficial relationships with surrounding businesses. We feel students at Homestead have a lot to offer surrounding businesses; and, as important, we want to learn from those businesses as well,” Lindsey said.

Chapter president Shah has been on the team for four years and is looking forward to the upcoming season. “I want to grow the club and expose more people to the beneficial experiences and useful business skills you can learn through competition. Personally I’m looking forward to competing at ICDC (internationals),” Shah said.

Although they are looking to transition to in person, the team meetings are being held virtually through Zoom as of now. The district competition is also virtual. Information regarding other competitions has not been released yet.

“As the advisor, I’m most looking forward to interacting with students again this year. I know this year is still full of unknowns, but I’m eager to see our students adapting to and overcoming the environmental obstacles we’ll surely face,” Lindsey said.

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