DECA’s SCDC: The qualifying conference

Image from Rewa Bathula.

From March 6th through 10th, Washington High School DECA attended their twelfth annual State Career Development Conference (SCDC) in Anaheim. 2,400 members of DECA from all of California’s three main regions (Southern California, Northern California, and Silicon Valley) competed in two main events: Roleplays and Writtens. Earlier in the year, members attended NorCalCDC, the district conference, where they had the opportunity to compete in their events for the first time. However, what differentiates SCDC from other conferences is the importance it holds in progressing to the international level.

Although you can qualify for the International Career Development Conference through online events prior to SCDC, at the state-level conference, you only qualify if you are able to get Top 5 in your roleplay, or Top 4 in your written event. For a roleplay, competitors receive a prompt which they have ten minutes to provide a solution for, and then must present their developed resolution to a judge. For a written event, competitors must develop an up-to 20-page report and 15 minute presentation. As a result of the high stakes of this conference, students spend weeks preparing. 

Bhavya Mehta, a junior who in addition to competing ran for California DECA’s State Office, “created a schedule of things to do every single day, such as preparing key business concepts and topics or developing creative ways to market to other people.” Through her disciplined preparation, Mehta was able to place 1st for her written event of Project Management Career Development, as well as achieve the position of Vice President of Marketing for the entirety of California DECA. Additionally, Ameya Ravi, a first-year competitor of DECA, stated in an interview prior to the competition how “[she was] very excited to be able to put all [her] hard work into use at this conference and hopefully feel rewarded.” And rewarded she was: Ravi ended up receiving 2nd for Principles of Hospitality and Tourism out of almost 150 competitors from all over the state, becoming one of the only first-year competitors to qualify for ICDC. 

Countless other members of WHS DECA were also rewarded for their diligence and dedication, allowing this year to be Washington High School’s most successful. WHS received 13 glass awards (first, second, and third place), compared to 10 in both 2022 and 2023. Out of these 13 awards, 6 were for first place, more than in any previous year. Last of all, out of the 16 teams which qualified for ICDC, 9 people were able to qualify for two events, and WHS DECA had their first triple qualifier, Ronit Kapoor, who qualified for an online event, his roleplay, and his written. 

Despite Washington High School DECA’s success, members recognize that the most important aspect of attending SCDC is not only placement, but the experiences which occur, and the people that connections are formed with. Ameya Ravi says “meeting new people is one of the best parts of DECA, and I think every conference helps us do that a little more. I’ve been able to make so many new friends across cities. It builds a connection and bond between people because they feel like they have a big part of their lives, in that moment at the conference, in common.” Other members agree: Aavyan Paramel, despite not placing at SCDC, expressed his gratitude for meeting new people from schools all over the state, and forming life-long friendships with them.

Anjika Singh is a junior at Washington High School, who has lived in Fremont, California her entire life. This is her first year as a part of The Hatchet, and she is excited to cover a variety of topics from reviews to school news through her articles. In her free time, Anjika enjoys dancing, reading, hanging out with friends, and watching movies and shows. In the future, Anjika hopes to go to college, but is undecided about what her major should be.

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