“The leadership aspect is one of the best parts about DECA… It’s a goal setting environment. It very much pushes you to be better than who you already are,” says Miami High School Senior Madison Farley. Farley and the three other Miami students who recently attended the state DECA Career Development Conference in Phoenix all earned accolades.
A career and technical student organization, DECA’s mission is to “prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.” Miami High School DECA advisor Dan Hill reports that “Farley won second place out of the entire state in her category of ‘retail merchandising services.’ As such, she is invited to attend the International DECA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee next month and compete there.”
The other medal winners were from Miami were Orin Haynes who competed in “principles of marketing,” and Johnna Murphy and Cassandra Davis who competed in the team event of “hospitality & tourism.”
“I’m just so proud of everyone in my chapter,” says Farley. “We’ve done so great over the last couple years.” Last year, Farley placed third at state and traveled to Florida to compete at DECA’s international convention: DECA ICDC (International Career Development Conference).
“I’m a marketing manager, you’re my CEO, and you’ve asked me to solve this problem,” offers Farley as an example of the sort of role play involved in competition. “I’ve been competing in retail merchandising for three years… it’s my category,” she says. “I find out the scenario and only have ten minutes to figure out everything I’m going to be saying.”
According to Farley, DECA has provided key direction for her post-secondary plans. “When I became really involved in DECA, when I was a sophomore, I really hadn’t thought about where I was going to go to college or what I was going to do. This entire business world—I kind of just got sucked in.” Farley plans to major in marketing at the WP Carey School of Business at ASU.
“This program really showed me what career path I actually wanted to be on and what I wanted to do with my life,” says Farley. “It has made me become a better leader within the community.”
Call Miami High School at 928-425-3271 or contact Dan Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org to donate to help fund Madison’s trip to Nashville in April.
Autumn Giles is a freelance writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in Edible Baja Arizona, Modern Farmer, Punch, Serious Eats, and elsewhere. Her first book, Beyond Canning was published in February 2016.