Westborough High School DECA members attend international conference

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Westborough students recently traveled to Atlanta to take part in a DECA conference there. (Photo/submitted)

WESTBOROUGH – Three members of Westborough High School’s DECA chapter traveled to Atlanta at the end of last week to participate in the International Career Development Conference there after qualifying through a statewide conference.

DECA, which is in its first year at Westborough, is a nonprofit student-run organization that holds conferences, workshops and competitions for students interested in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

“We’re really grateful and honored to be able to attend this conference,” said DECA Co-President Daphnne Cabrera in a recent interview. 

“It wasn’t easy to get to where we are,” she continued, noting a short window for final preparations.

DECA members compete by solving and presenting case studies to judges in a limited amount of time. For example, contestants could be given a list of different departments. They could then be asked to analyze the departments and determine which one is the best option for their assigned business to expand into.

Members have 30 minutes to solve a case study and present it to their judge. 

Such contests take place at a variety of levels, with this most recent event in Atlanta drawing attendees from around the world.

Looking to make their trip, Cabrera, Co-President Morgan Barber and sophomore Abby Mahr raised this money working in collaboration with local businesses like the Red Heat Tavern and Vivacity Wellness and Nutrition. 

Cabrera and Barber, who are both juniors, were previously inspired to create a DECA chapter in Westborough after their business teacher presented the idea of the organization and asked if anyone would be interested in joining. 

“It’s been great; everyone’s a really good team,” Mahr said of the group that has coalesced since then. “We work together well. We help each other prepare a bunch.”

The chapter, indeed, found immediate success in its first year at WHS this year, sending 15 members to the state competition prior this recent trip.

“We are so excited to represent Westborough,” Barber wrote in a separate email to the Community Advocate late last month.

Barber said that she and Cabrera qualified to attend a emerging leadership portion of the recent conference in Atlanta, while Mahr qualified to compete at the same Atlanta event by placing in the top six places within her event at this year’s states competition.

Mahr received one of the top test scores in her category in Atlanta, finishing as a finalist as one of the top 22 individuals out of 181 participants.

Learn more about DECA and its programming by visiting www.deca.org.

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