DECA students advance to state


Raina Bae and Krish Singh

   West Ranch students Shefali Breitbach, Samantha Amorsolo, and Dante Frangipane are representing our school in the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competition, a prestigious statewide competition for the international organization. This nonprofit organization, and West Ranch’s chapter club, aim at preparing future entrepreneurs and business leaders for college and careers with 21st-century skills. 

   A few West Ranch students, led by Club President Shefali Breitbach, qualified for participation in the Los Angeles County competition, where they were able to meet the requirements to advance to the state level.

    Breitbach said, “We are super excited to attend the state competition. In order to prepare, we are practicing role-plays and tests specific to our event. We are also watching DECA videos that cover important business principles that may appear on the test.” 

   Although DECA is an international organization, each branch is separate and unique. Ms. Livingstone, the economics teacher at West Ranch and advisor of the club, explained its importance. “If you took a poll of the student body, most kids want to be a part of a business in some way, whether it’s starting their own entrepreneurship, being their own boss, running their own business, or they’re just gonna be an employee one day,” Livingstone said “The skills and the things that these kids are learning whether it interpersonal skills, networking or just the experience that these kids are getting from going to these conferences and competing at these levels, it’s just very valuable for any student that’s on a college track or anyone that wants to go out and start a business at 18.” 

   Freshman club member Taha Siddique said the main appeal of the club for him would be the real-world experience in business and leadership. The organization was established to meet this passion. 

   According to the DECA official website, the club was created to “prepare emerging leaders” and “entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.” 

   Ms. Livingstoneadded, “The competition is important because there’s an aspect of the competition that’s called “role plays,” and it’s actually business leaders in the current field that the kids are getting to sit down and talk through either the scenario or whatever the situation is and they get real feedback from them about their speaking skills, about the way they planned, or answered the questions so they’re not only getting experience with peers and networking, but they’re actually getting real-life feedback from people who are actually in the business and marketing world.”

   Students not part of the club, as well as those in the club, are impressed by its accomplishments.

   “It’s really impressive, and the fact that a West Ranch club can compete on a state level with these other clubs,” Siddque elaborated, “Also, the fact that it’s an international organization too and it’s all over the world.”

   Although the club has achieved tremendous success, DECA members aren’t done yet: they are aiming farther than just the state competition.

    “At the state competition, we hope to take home some trophies and medals, but also meet new people from all over California who are also interested in business. One of the most valuable things about DECA is the connections you make. It’s a ton of fun to talk to new people,” Breithbach explained.

   On top of learning about business and leadership, DECA members earn valuable friendships as well as become familiar with people in their field of interest. Wildcats, if you’re interested in following our West Ranch students’ performance, be sure to keep a close eye out for any news about their competition. Good luck to the students competing!