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In eighth grade, you're given a sheet with all of the extra classes you can take at the high school of your choice ranging from JROTC to Drama, one class not a lot of kids know about though is DECA.
DECA is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping young adults become career and college ready. They prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, hospitality, financing and management, which means they help you learn everything it takes to run a business. Students in high schools all over the world participate in written, group and electronic competitions to win scholarships and so much more. This is a class I believe every student should take.
What is amazing about this program is that the classroom and the students get to learn how a real business works because most DECA programs run SBE's, school-based enterprises, that function as real stores with standards, stocking and profit. The profit of these SBE's are put towards travel expenses for the entire chapter which takes them to competitions and conventions. It gives students real life experience that is applicable outside of the classroom as well.
Preparing for competitions is something that helped me as an individual. There are many categories of competition, there are writing categories, single and group and online. What I competed in was single competitions which meant that I would have 10 minutes to study a scenario, create a solution and have as much time to present it to a judge. It may seem intimidating to those who are shy but it really does help foster confidence in every student. You spend time in class going over scenarios and role playing with your classmates to expand your thinking and get used to presenting to someone else, the time limits in competitions and get rid of nerves.
The competitions were one of my favorite things to do because it gave you the opportunity to learn about something you might never have thought of. I competed in primarily Hospitality and Tourism which meant I would role-play as a manager of a hotel chain usually. This helped me become more confident in myself because I had to behave and conduct myself as if I was in charge of a hotel and interact with customers. Each scenario dealt with an unhappy customer and how I could resolve the issue, that helped me in real life now having jobs in retail and helping customers have good experiences in my store. Being a freshman, entering a new school and environment with about 500 other kids seems intimidating but, DECA helped me gain confidence in myself by making me think about how I could fix a problem for a company worth millions by handling an unhappy customer.
DECA helped me as an adult because being a 16-year-old with no actual work experience, being a part of a school-based enterprise, I has experience handling money and being a part of a business, whereas other kids my age don't have that. For four years, I worked and had experiences no other kids get to. That's why you should take DECA in high school.