Tonawanda News — Some students start working on their DECA projects as early as summer, she said. Club members also work in the NTHS store, where they earn money for competitions.
“Some kids who are on the edge, sometimes it’s hard for them to make good choices,” Widman said. “Once they get involved in DECA, they seem to find their way down a good path.”
As part of the “Buying and Merchandising Operations” competition, students Connor Greene and Carlie McClinsey wrote a 30-page manual for Anderson’s Frozen Custard that includes ideas that may actually be implemented by the company, Widman said. They finished second in the state, and will be moving on to Anaheim.
McClinsey was one of several DECA members who said that she actually intends to change her career plans because of what she’s learned in the club.
“I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did,” she said. “Because it’s a business club, you think that everyone’s going to be strict and ‘business-y.’ But everyone’s so relaxed and outgoing and fun. You meet a lot of people. People are willing to help other people improve. ... It gives you a lot of opportunities you wouldn’t normally get.”
“Just to speak in front of that many people,” he said, “isn’t normal for a student.”
One group of students took home top honors, but will be staying in North Tonawanda for the competition. Lauren Helf, Megan Helf and Caitlin Jones won first place for their “Chapter Scrapbook” project, a category that only exists at the state level.
“It was a lot of work,” Megan Helf said, “but it paid off in the end.”
Lauren Candlena, Megan Weaver and Tim Zamyslov earned fourth place for the “Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan” competition for their work on plans for Nike Inc.
Gabrielle McIntyre earned fourth place for “Principles of Hospitality.” Aaron Weaver and Kelsey Ross took three medals each for their work in the “Technical Sales” and “Buying and Merchandising Operations,” respectively.