The Rise of DECA


Members pose with the DECA hand symbol.

Anish Patel and Ayah Khamis

The MH chapter of DECA, an international business club that teaches valuable life and career skills to students, is advised by Ms. Perry. Club members learn various business topics such as marketing, management and entrepreneurship, finance, and hospitality. Ms. Perry believes “DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in a variety of career clusters” as students learn new subjects while also socializing with people from all over the region, state, and possibly, the world.

In a competition consisting of two rounds, club members first take a 100-question test pertaining to their business field. Then, they have an in-person roleplay, acting as employee of a company and solving real-life issues they might face. DECA is a tier-level competition where members first compete at Districts, a regional conference at which the top candidates then qualify for a State Competition held Feb 27 through March 1 at Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.

Last year, DECA had 30 members compete at Districts, and 19 moved on to the state conference; this year, 71 club members competed. The club has seen a surge in membership and interest over a year. What makes the club so popular?

Ms. Perry credits the popularity of the club to Swara Agarwal, Morris Hills DECA president, who also serves as the NJ DECA president. Swara, a senior, has been active and successful in DECA and shares with her friends the diverse opportunities she has taken part in, such as travel, networking, and team building.  Swara has an amazing enthusiasm for DECA. Swara’s energy and success have encouraged students to join the club. It is one thing for a teacher to tell a student how valuable an opportunity like DECA is; it’s a whole other thing for a fellow student to show how successful she has been, with those opportunities.

Along with Swara’s passion and enthusiasm for DECA, lots of marketing efforts this year contributed to its tremendous popularity. She and other DECA members gave presentations to marketing classes and discussed the great opportunities that DECA provides. 

According to Mrs. Perry,  “DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in a variety of career clusters. Students learn a subject they may not have time to fit into their schedule, they socialize with other MH students who may not be in their classes, they meet students from all over the state and possibly the world, and they are presented with opportunities for scholarships and meeting real-world executives.” 

ICDC, or the International Career Development Conference, is an annual event where members of DECA from all over the world spend 4 days in Orlando competing at an international level. Last year, MH students Ria Sharma, Vanshika Pahilwani, David Wei, and Swara Agarwal went to ICDC in Atlanta, and they had an experience of a lifetime. Ria and Vanshika created a 30-minute vlog, commenting on how DECA was both fun and allowed them to build their confidence-building skills. Ria’s favorite memories were going to Atlanta attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, Coca-Cola Factory, and Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Swara said it allowed her to meet new people and make lifelong friendships with them. She also loved the environment, commenting on how everyone was in their DECA blazers in the Mercedes Benz Stadium, cheering for all the winners. There were fireworks and a live DJ too.

DECA fosters creativity and motivation as members try to edge out their competition to go to ICDC, an experience that is worth the work. DECA, besides the competition aspect, is a wonderful club with exciting team activities. A growing club, DECA is an opportunity for high school students to have fun while preparing for the real world.