Business Program Grads Return to Share Experiences

Grace Allen
 (l to r) DECA program returning graduates Brianna Lacy, Abby Melanson, Julianne Rando, Alex Welsh, Tori Desmond, Ashley Guertin, Nick Simmons, Jeff Yatsuhashi, Luke Eldridge, Nick Sammarco, Jenn Hutynyan, Lauren Chandler, Emalee Buckley, Tess McGrory.
Issue Date: 
February, 2019
Article Body: 

In late December, KP High School welcomed back fourteen graduates of the school’s DECA program. The students returned to reflect on their time as DECA members and share the impact the program has had on their college experiences.
During the annual event, dubbed a round table, graduates shared insights about how DECA had prepared them for college and future careers. Time management and communication skills were valuable lessons honed from their DECA experience, agreed the graduates, equipping them to meet the challenges of higher education.
KPHS business teacher and DECA advisor James Dow said the round table event began in 2011, and has had a tremendous impact on the program.
“Alumni are able to offer what worked for them as members and guide our current members down a similar path,” he said. “The feedback from our current members has ranged from ‘helpful,’ ‘eye-opening,’ and ‘overall inspiring.’”
Among the visiting grads were Business Operations representatives Jeff Yatsuhashi (freshman at Notre Dame), Nick Simmons (freshman at UMass Amherst), and Tori Desmond (freshman at Bridgewater State University). Returning International Champions included Nick Sammarco (freshman at Suffolk University), and Luke Eldridge (freshman at Grove City College). Representatives for Chapter Team events included Lauren Chandler (sophomore at University of New Hampshire), Jenn Hutynyan (sophomore at Merrimack College), and International champions Abby Melanson (freshman at Savannah College of Art and Design), Alex Welsh (freshman at University of Denver), and Ashley Guertin (sophomore at UMass). Representatives for Entrepreneurship events included Julianne Rando (freshman at Bentley University) and Brianna Lacy (freshman at Babson College), as well as International champions Emalee Buckley (junior at Pace University) and Tess McGrory (junior at Bryant University).
DECA, once known as Distributive Education Clubs of America, began between 1937 and 1942 as clubs for students and teachers of distributive education (now known as marketing education). In 1947, the clubs voted to form a national organization. DECA’s mission is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in both high schools and colleges around the world.