The following was sent to Cinnaminson Patch by Christina Belfatto, business teacher and DECA adviser at Cinnaminson High School.
From April 27 to May 2, 10 Cinnaminson DECA students attended the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Salt Lake City. Most students qualified to attend leadership academies. However, four out of the 10 students qualified for and competed at the conference.
Michael Shay, a senior who just committed to the University of Michigan, qualified at the regional and state levels competitions to attend this year’s ICDC. He excelled in the human resources event at the state conference, placing second overall and winning him a spot to compete in Salt Lake City. At the ICDC, Mike was recognized on stage for his high test score in his event.
Three other students competed in the School-Based Enterprise (SBE) Academy which is a written manual based on Cinnaminson High School’s student store. Seniors Frank Endicott, Kerry Lickfield and Cole Taylor made their presentation, using a video of the daily operations of the store, against 135 other student stores from around the country.
"I am proud to announce out of the 136 schools that competed, Cinnaminson qualified for the top 12 finalist round, earning Cinnaminson bragging rights," Belfatto said.
Belfatto said it was not an easy task to attend this conference. First, students had to put hard work and determination together to write manuals and/or compete and qualify at the regional and state levels. Some manuals were over 70 pages long with topics about the student store and yearly DECA activities.
Before students even found out they qualified, the fundraising began. To attend the International Career Development Conference, students had to raise about $1,600 each. Funds were raised from our annual Mr. Cinnaminson Pageant, t-shirt sales, sponsorships and bagel sales from the CHS student store. Most students were able to raise almost all of their costs for the conference.
"Of course, attending the conference would not be obtainable without the support and help of a few key people," Belfatto said. "Every year, the high school’s and school district’s administration is fully supportive of the Cinnaminson DECA Program and our numerous conferences. Also, the art department and the TV Production classes were a huge help achieving our national status."
What is DECA?
DECA, an association of marketing students, prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. DECA students are given the opportunity to travel, attend regional, state and international conferences, socially engage with other students from around the world, and gain confidence through workshops, leadership academies and competitive events.