Westwood DECA Members Compete at District 5 Conference
Srilekha Cherukuvada, Westwood DECA
It was still dark when over 300 Westwood DECA students arrived at school at 5 a.m. to attend the Texas DECA District 5 Career Development Conference, the first competition on the path to ICDC. Students boarded the buses, eagerly waiting to compete in their events.
“District, as always, is one of the most emotional yet fulfilling days.” Anika Chokhavatia ‘21 said. “I was a bundle of nervous excitement prior to my event, and the wait before the award ceremony was tense. District is only the starting place of many of our professional careers. I’m so grateful to DECA that I get the opportunity to attend these competitions and gain valuable insight into the business world.”
The conference started with an opening ceremony where the District 5 Director, Mr. Stewart Burns, gave a short speech. Shortly after, students dispersed to find their competition room. After most of the events had been completed, members enjoyed a lunch of tacos, chips and salsa, and decadent brownies and cookies. Students then had downtime to finish homework and hang out with their friends before the closing ceremony.
“There was a lot of downtime before our event which allowed us to run through our important points a few times which made us feel more confident during the actual competition,” Aashi Vishnoi ‘21 said. “Lunch was a lot of fun because it was a time when we would hang out with our friends and meet new people from other schools.”
District officer candidate speeches were given before the awards were announced. In the end, 245 members from the Westwood DECA chapter advanced to state, surpassing the 214 qualified members last year.
“As always, it feels very inspiring to see the students grow and learn,” Westwood DECA sponsor Mr. Jeffery Siler said. “It’s also humbling to be part of such an amazing organization and around such great students. Also just great anticipation for where state and beyond takes these students as well as what they’re going to learn and apply in their life. So it’s just a really exciting time and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The next DECA competition will be the Texas State Career Development Conference on February 20-22 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Follow Srilekha on Twitter and Instagram @srileeka.