DECA Recruitment Week is Over, So What’s Next for DECA?


Kaeleigh Cooper

Deca meetings are posted on the bulletin board outside of Ms. Rhoden’s classroom.

Kaeleigh Cooper, Emily Moore, and Nicole Miller

Two weeks ago, the DECA club prepared and invited new members to join them. Cynthia Rhoden, Business/Marketing Teacher and Deca Sponsor, was looking for people to do more than just sell cookies. They were looking for future leaders and those interested in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. 
“We have a recruitment goal of 48 this year,” Rhoden says, “because of last year [Covid].”
For those who are unaware, DECA, according to Rhoden, “is an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.”
“It does not fit the acronym whatsoever,” she additionally comments.
The club is open to students of all grade levels with a variety of interests, and particularly those who “are not afraid to talk,” but has room for the quiet types as well.
“There are also online challenges where those quiet students can compete,” according to Rhoden.
One thing that Sophie Roark, the DECA President, and Rhoden agree on is that DECA prepares students for doing jobs they aspire to do in their future, guiding them to the classes and extracurriculars they would like to take in college, and help improve collaboration and negotiation skills.
“I believe that it gives a bit of guidance to help you think about classes while you’re in college,” Rhoden elaborates.
“When I was applying for jobs, I was able to sit down with interviewers and talk to them and work out days,” Roark says. “It’s taught me collaboration, working with other kids, studying together. It’s taught me leadership, especially being the president.”
So, what do you have to do to join DECA?
“There’s really no requirements at all,” Rhoden says. “It’s just if you are interested in possibly pursuing a career in one of those fields [marketing, finance, hospitality and management]. They just need to come see me.”
What’s expected of a DECA member?
“Definitely to be involved; attend the meetings and [don’t just ] just show up for the competition and that be it. Show up to meetings, be involved in activities,” Roark explains. 
More specifically, students that participate in DECA have the opportunity to participate in “40+ events” in the competition that they spend the year preparing for, requiring some studying.
To some students, the idea of studying in their spare time is ghastly, but Roark says that’s not really the case,
“[We have] morning meetings, there’s really no after school involvement; we have kids that work,” she says.  “It requires some studying for competitions, but other than that it’s not bad.
In addition to not being a very rigorous club, the activities that DECA sponsors and participates in are things that students could have fun with.
“We do fun things; tomorrow we have a pancake breakfast, we’re going to do pumpkin carving soon,” Roark says.
Now that recruitment week is over, what is next for DECA? 


Well, we had a pancake breakfast on Tuesday [Sept. 14] and for our next meeting, I will be giving out all of the study packets hopefully,” Rhoden explains.“In November, we are going on the Tennessee Titans trip to Nissan Stadium. We do have a cookout planned in October, but I have to see if we can still make that happen. We will be decorating a tree for Fantasy of Trees, we will be having our Christmas party, and then we will have the in school basketball tournament. As for community service projects, we are going to work with volunteer ministries this year.” 


According to the Vice President of Community Service, Tommy Frain, he is looking forward to the competitions DECA holds.  


This would be my first year in DECA to get the normal experience. We’ll travel to competitions for state, district and if you make it to ICDC, which is the national level [competition] for the United States, that’s going to be held in Atlanta, so I’m mainly looking forward to experiencing some of those aspects of DECA. The business, professional and skills they give you for life and your career goal is pretty awesome..”


DECA not only does fun things like pumpkin carving, sports trips and cookouts, but they also do community service. 


Frain comments, “Some of our plans are to get with local Karm Stores and hopefully get 75% of our DECA organization involved. That’s the goal, anyway. And then, we are going to also try and work with Young-Williams [Animal Center]. That will be an exciting opportunity if we can do that. Then also TN Volunteer Ministries where we can do donation events and hopefully every kid can participate.”
Just because the DECA season has officially started doesn’t mean that they aren’t accepting new members. 
“They can join all the way up until November 15,” Rhoden confirmed.


For those who are interested in joining DECA, you can contact Mrs. Rhoden or visit her in room 170. You can also find DECA on Instagram @karns.deca.