DECA Goes to Nationals!

DECA’s ICDC is happening in April and Air Academy High School students are ecstatic!


A man presenting his ideas to a group of people. Image reused from Unsplash.

Now that the 2023 DECA State Conference is over, DECA nationals will be going on in late April. A total of 28 students from Air Academy High School are going to DECA nationals, which is also known as the International Career Development Conference (ICDC).

From April 22nd to April 25th, those 28 students will be in Orlando, Florida to compete and represent AAHS!

For those who are not familiar with DECA, DECA is about teaching students about business and future career oppurtunities. At AAHS, DECA is led by teachers Lindsay Bornhofen and Aly Johnson.

“DECA is a global business organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for college and careers (their technical mission statement). Basically, students in any marketing class at AAHS  are a part of DECA. They learn a lot about business and marketing, compete in various business event categories, have a lot of fun, and gain confidence,” Bornhofen explained.

Along with DECA, Bornhofen teaches a variety of classes about business such as business law and business finance. Johnson also teaches a variety of classes about business such as creative marketing, which teaches students about owning a business and allows them to gain work experience in Kadet Coffee. Students do not have to be in DECA to join these classes, but it is likely that these classes might interest students in joining the club.

Junior Carly Cox joined DECA in her sophomore year and believes that DECA is a great opportunity for students.

“I would describe DECA as an opportunity to make new friends and create lasting memories all while exploring areas of business and marketing,” Cox explained.

DECA is more than just learning about business for students since it is about making new friends that have similar interests to them.

Cox is one of the students in DECA that gets to go to ICDC and compete for AAHS in April. This is an amazing opportunity because of how difficult it is to qualify for ICDC.

“To qualify for the international competition, they had to place in the top 7 in the state!” Bornhofen explained.

With this, attending ICDC means a lot to the students who are going. For Cox to qualify for ICDC, she had to compete at both the district and state level.

So, what do these competitions look like?

“Students take a test in their event category and then participate in a live presentation to a judge (members of our business community). For some events, the presentation is prepared in advance. It may be a marketing plan for a local small business, or a community awareness project they planned and executed. For other events, students participate in a roleplay as an individual or a team. A roleplay asks students to solve a real-world business problem on the spot and present their solution to the judge,” Bornhofen explained.

Since Cox qualified for ICDC, what will her and the other students be doing?

Most likely the students who are going to ICDC will be competing with other students by solving a hypothetical problem that has to do with business. Some students who are going will be satisfied even if they do not win because qualifying for ICDC is already a big accomplishment for them. With this, DECA is not only a great opportunity for students to learn about business, but also make new friends who have similar interests along the way.