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DECA takes on international conference, six participants walk away winners

The+37+ICDC+qualifiers+take+a+trip+to+Anaheim%2C+California+to+compete%2C+and+also+got+to+stop+in+Disneyland.
The 37 ICDC qualifiers take a trip to Anaheim, California to compete, and also got to stop in Disneyland.

The 37 ICDC qualifiers take a trip to Anaheim, California to compete, and also got to stop in Disneyland.

Submitted Andy Zhao

Submitted Andy Zhao

The 37 ICDC qualifiers take a trip to Anaheim, California to compete, and also got to stop in Disneyland.

Andy Zhao, Staff Writer

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Thirty-seven DECA members traveled to Anaheim, California for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), DECA’s international competition, from April 25 to May 1. Six walked away winners, with junior twins Nick and Anthony Francalancia placing third in their category, but all left with lasting memories.

DECA first competed at Districts on January 13, with 114 people advancing to States out of 143 that attended. At States from March 9-11, 29 participants qualified for ICDC. Eight additional participants attended ICDC for the leadership series, a collection of seminars and workshops at the competition that trains students to be leaders in the workforce.

“DECA is a business conference where students can go and compete in tests to further their interest in business,” senior Bridget Kiley, who competed in Hospitality Tourism Operations Research, said. “I went to ICDC to present a project, whereas most people that went took a test and did a roleplay [a section of the event involving live interaction with a judge].”

“I think the kids that are in it now are serious about it and want to be successful, and that helps,” adviser Patricia Riley said.

Infographic Andy Zhao
Several Algonquin students qualified for ICDC this year, and six were awarded medals.

A few members won awards during the competition. The Francalancia brothers won “glass”, a trophy for placing in the top three for a category. For their Financial Services Team Decision Making event, the twins won third, competing against hundreds of other contestants from across the country in a series of tasks.

“I do a 100 question finance cluster exam and perform a case study where I examine an issue and make a solution and present it to the judge,” Nick Francalancia said. “One of my issues was I had to go to a college and figure out a plan to get their students out of debt and student loans, which consisted of making a business plan and presenting it to the present of the school.”

Nick Francalancia felt that their success stemmed from their ability to speak well.

“It really came down to just presentation skills in the end, because when you get to the ICDC level everyone knows their stuff and you’re not going to outsmart anybody there; it’s just the way you present your information,” Nick Francalancia said.

Other winners included freshman Joseph Zhang, who was recognized for his performance in his roleplay for Business Services Marketing, and Andy Zhao*, who received a medal for his test in Principles of Hospitality and Tourism. Sophomores Josh Harmon and Sam Forbush placed eighth in the nation for the Virtual Business Challenge.

Competition was not the only activity that took place at ICDC. Out of the many destinations that the group travelled to – such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Huntington Beach – a few moments during the trip stood out to members. After the award ceremony ended, the team travelled to Denny’s at 11:30 p.m to celebrate their achievements.

“The most exciting part was when the Francalancias won glass,” Kiley said. “That was a crazy thing because they’re both very smart, but no one really expects Algonquin to come out with glass…and then the celebratory Denny’s [diner trip] was just as fun.”

Riley believes in the positive impact DECA has on participants’ futures.

“The growth that I’ve seen in kids being part of DECA is amazing,” Riley said. “I see jobs that come to me and say ‘give me your DECA kids,’ colleges saying ‘give me your DECA kids.’ And it’s a lot of fun.”

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The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA
DECA takes on international conference, six participants walk away winners