DECA: A Great Business Beginning!
Romelyn Joy Tabangcura | Maui High School
One of the largest clubs at Maui High School, DECA provides students with key leadership skills, goal setting, project management and financial skills. DECA stands for Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement. Originally founded in 1946, the club now has over 219,000 high school members in 3,500 schools worldwide. This business-oriented club provides students with community service projects, competitive events and educational conferences in hopes to prepare students to become college and career ready. Through these opportunities in which students can earn life-long skills, students at Maui High School are now aware and prepared for the business world.
Cassidy Matsuda, who has been part of DECA during most of her high school days says, “I think that DECA has prepared me for the business world because of all the skills I gained and things I learned. I learned business terms, spoke with professionals in the business field, and learned basic things like professional dressing and how to tie a tie. The experiences and knowledge I possessed will assist me in my future career in business.” On February 25, Maui High School DECA members traveled to O‘ahu to compete against other DECA members from the State for CTSO, an organized convention where students from around the islands come together to participate in competitive events such as role play. Cassidy participated in CTSO for the first time and describes one of her favorite memories. “My favorite memory with DECA at CTSO was doing the role play with my partner and putting everything we’ve worked so hard for into our presentation. It was satisfying to hear everything we planned fall into place and see the smiles and nods on the judges faces. We didn’t make finals, but we were one of the six medalists in our category, and it was a great feeling knowing our hard work paid off.” Overall, Cassidy recommends students to join DECA because “DECA is a great organization, not only for business students but for all students to learn about managing and preparing for their futures. We do fun activities and community service while forming friendships and creating memories.”
DECA teaches and exposes students to branches in finance, marketing, hospitality and business management and administration. For Maui High School junior Roxanne Castillo, she expressed her love for DECA and said “After being exposed to DECA, my knowledge has highly increased about the economic world. Ways like learning the importance of having a business and being able to keep it stable. Throughout being a part of DECA, it has made me realize that someday I might want to start my own business and be able to show others that I am capable of running a business, all thanks to DECA.” Roxanne also described what DECA meant to her. “To me, DECA stands for desire, effort, champion and ambitious. DECA is a club where many of us get to learn more about business and use our knowledge to succeed.” As a fellow member of DECA for three years, she encourages others to join because “there are many opportunities for one to be able to show others their many strengths, build new friendships, and be able to amaze others with what you learn from DECA.” When asked about her opinion on whether the minimum wage in Hawai‘i should be increased or decreased, she stated that “Increasing minimum wage will affect our economy in a positive way. It will be beneficial to everyone. This is because most people tend to struggle with paying bills, supporting their families and buying things they need or want. If the economy decides to increase the minimum wage, I think that will encourage more people to work so they can make money and feel accomplished.”
Junior Althea Garduque also expresses her opinions about the minimum wage in Hawai‘i and says that “Increasing minimum wage would be very beneficial for parents and millennials such as teenagers because during this generation, teenagers and parents are trying to support their family, pay for bills and also pay for tuition for college. Increasing minimum wage would also encourage others to worker harder at their job and also encourage new people to apply.” When asked if minors should have a lower minimum wage than adults, she believed that they should be paid the same amount because “although adults are older and have more experience, I believe that if minors and adults have the same job, they deserve to be equally paid the same despite age and experience difference.” Althea also participated in CTSO this year and made it to finals alongside her partner Kenneth Aquisalas-Reyes. She recommends other students to participate in CTSO because “if you like to compete with or against other students, learn or experience new things and consider using business as part of your future, CTSO would be a great experience for you.” When asked about her experience with DECA and how it has influenced her thinking of the economic world, she explains “Being in DECA benefits my knowledge in finance, marketing, hospitality and business management and administration because it helps me with real life situations such as investing my savings, learning how to start my own business and what I need to do to accomplish it and also learning how to be smart with my money. Being in this club would also help me short term and long term throughout my life.”
Maui High School senior Yvonne Fulgencio has been a part of DECA for four years. She believes that DECA is not just a club and encourages others to join because “Through DECA, you will gain friendships, create connections, increase business knowledge, and at the same time make an impact on our community through our services. Not only will members earn rewarding events but also rewards that can be applied in the future.” Yvonne also competed in CTSO this year for the last time in her high school career and described her experience as being worthwhile because “From studying and practicing for the competition to the day of CTSO was such a journey. All my three years of attending CTSO has to be the most hardest yet but it has become one of my favorite memories. Through CTSO I learned that each person has to start from something and work their way up to what they want to accomplish. In addition, I also learned that in the real world, you will need to always work hard in order to succeed.” As the club president of DECA at Maui High, she highly recommends others to participate in CTSO because “not only will you learn how to prepare yourself but it will be a way to go beyond what you can do. Overall, it’s such a great experience and students will learn a lot from it.”
DECA continues to provide opportunities for students to learn about financial and time management, enhance leadership skills and challenge their abilities. Many students agree DECA has taught them crucial skills that can be used for the rest of their lifetime. This is why DECA is one of the largest clubs at Maui High and it will only continue to expand to prepare students to become the business leaders of tomorrow.
Google® Is Not Everything is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes that education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Romelyn Joy Tabangcura, a junior at Maui High School taking part in Maui High’s ACOM and Health Services pathway. She is a member of Health Occupation Student of America (HOSA) for 3 years and has competed in Human Growth and Development and placed top 3 at states. She is also a part of INTERACT, a service club that works around the community. She aspires to become a Pediatrician one day. She is a daughter of Romeo and Roselyn Tabangcura.