DECA travels to Anaheim for state competition and conference

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Provided by Andrea Yang

Co-Presidents Andrea Yang (’23) and Pallavi Shankar (’23) pose for a picture with DECA advisor Marjan Akrami after receiving glass awards for placing in the top three.

Amador Valley High School’s DECA team competed with others from all over California at the annual State Career Development Conference (SCDC) held at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel from Mar. 4 to 6.

“I was really proud of my members rather than myself because I saw them working so hard. They worked at the library, during ACCESS, and they constantly asked me questions or concerns that they had,” said AV DECA Co-President Andrea Yang (‘23), 3rd place winner for the EBG (Entrepreneurship Business Growth Plan) event.

With a total of 22 awards won by the AV DECA team, 11 members placed in the top five of their respective competitions, of which three won a first-place award.

“[The conference] has a healthy amount of pressure, because you do have a lot at stake, but it’s not like you’re going in unprepared. It’s more about what you are expecting of yourself,” said AV DECA VP of Logistics and CA DECA VP of Marketing Samaira Mehta (‘24), 1st place winner for the AAM (Apparel and Accessories Marketing Series) event.

DECA members have been preparing for the state competition since the beginning of the year. The first step was the Norcal conference in January which served as an introduction to the state competition.

“Seeing [my students] place was really amazing as I’ve been giving time during ACCESS hours and opening up after school to provide them feedback. And we got two state officers [Mehta and Leo Shao (‘24)], which was really nice too,” said Rabia Marjan Akrami, DECA Advisor.

Not only are awards won at SCDC, but the competition also decides which students qualify and move on to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC).

“As they called up people for awards, they started from fifth place. By the time they got to second, I gave up hope for placing but when they said first place from Amador Valley, that moment was my favorite memory,” said DECA Co-President Pallavi Shankar (23’), 1st place winner for the RMS (Retail Merchandising Series) event.

In addition to the competition, SCDC provides opportunities for social and networking events. The AV DECA team took a trip to Disneyland together on Saturday night. 

“I actually cried at one of the fireworks shows and it was really touching in a way and I felt like I was reviving childhood memories. It was definitely one of my favorite memories,” said Yang.

Qualifying members from the AV DECA team will be competing in the ICDC in Orlando, FL at the end of April.