DECA pushes forward through uncertain times

PLHS DECA prepares for a new way to safely conduct activities and conferences.

DECA+members+attend+the+2019+Central+Regional+Leadership+Conference.

Mrs. Mary Janssen

DECA members attend the 2019 Central Regional Leadership Conference.

Nicole Perez, Staff Writer

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world was put on pause. From schools to sports to spending time with friends and family, our way of life changed drastically. 

Now, six months later, students are back in school where many changes are being made to adjust to the “new normal.” 

DECA is a club that gives students an opportunity to experience real life business scenarios and social interactions.They have begun to make changes from their usual social, face to face activities and events in order to adapt to Covid-19 regulations and ensure the safety of their members.

DECA has started to organize future public service events that would give back to the community and would allow students to stay engaged in their monthly meetings.

“We are planning on doing stuff within the schools, such as fundraisers, while being as safe as possible,” junior DECA officer Roshu Sentil said.

In the past, DECA has traveled and stayed overnight for conferences and competitions.

“Last year the highlight of my life was going to the Central Regional Leadership Conference,” Sentil said. “It was so much fun staying in a hotel with friends, going to Mall of America, and DECA night.”

However, differing from their usual in person competitions and role plays, DECA has made efforts to switch to online events.

“Conferences will be held virtually, and a lot of our activities this school year will involve social distancing,” DECA supervisor Miss O’Dowd said.

Virtual competitions will bring a whole new experience to new and returning DECA members.

“I am excited to see how virtual competitions will work because I am working on a project for state DECA in marketing class,” Sentil said.

Although virtual competitions may seem like an easy solution, there can be downsides to these types of events.

“Students won’t be getting their usual hands-on experience,” Sentil said. “Physically sitting in front of judges and presenting your project or role play is so much more different than doing it virtually.”

Despite the challenges students might face, the benefits of joining DECA outweigh the negatives. It allows students to learn skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.

“I believe deca helps you grow as an individual,” O’Dowd said. “DECA truly prepares students for their futures so it’s important that we get our students involved in it.”

Joining DECA gives students an opportunity to be part of something that gives back to the community while developing leadership and social skills that are beneficial to their future.