DECA competes in development conference

By Alex Nakagawa

Assoc. Sports Editor

Students from South Pasadena High School and over 30 other schools gathered to share ideas and compete in categories ranging from fashion design to hotel management at the Wyndham Hotel in Anaheim this past weekend.

The Southern California District Career Development Conference highlighted business skills from January 9 to 11, and included the South Pasadena Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) team among many schools from the Southern California area in the conference.

“This is my second year in DECA,” sophomore Perah Ralin said, “and although I felt better prepared before the conference than I had last year, I definitely don’t think it was overwhelming. However, at state conference, I definitely feel the smallness of our team, seeing as there’s one team with about 400 members.”

For three days, students gained exposure to different occupations. Each conference room featured a different demonstration or competition, such as role-playing a business law dispute in a court setting, or taking an exam in financial literacy. Each individual category consisted of a 100-question exam, and occasionally extra events such as a written presentation. The hectic atmosphere initially disoriented the young South Pasadena team, but the group recovered to perform at a high level among larger teams such as Riverside’s Martin Luther King High School, which had over 100 students participating.

The South Pasadena chapter, which is in its third year, was one of the smallest represented schools in the conference, with only eight members competing, but certainly not the weakest. Senior Joanna Wan received first place Grand Awards in the Business Finance Series written exam, Content Interview and Presentation, and also received third overall in Interactive Component.

Sophomore Perah Ralin placed third in the Apparel and Accessories exam, junior Kyle Kan received second in the Marketing Management exam, and senior Alex Wong placed second overall in the Principles of Hospitality and Tourism. Sophomore Olivia Nouriani placed third place in Human Resources Management, second place in Human Resources written exam, and third place in Content Interview and Presentation.

“Seeing people from South Pasadena place made me so proud of everyone from our chapter,” DECA club president Adriana Wu said. “Winning motivates members to strive even further towards success and we definitely look forward to state conference.”

Up next for the team is the California State Career Development Conference in San Jose on February 26 to March 1. All members of the club will participate again with teams from the Central and Northern regions of California.