Annual DECA regional conference comes to Western Kentucky University

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- High school students from all over the commonwealth spent a school day at Western Kentucky University for the DECA regional conference. DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America gives business students the chance to create ideas that can be pitched or sold to businesses. Vice president of membership Emma Finch said it’s also seen as a great method of entering the business world.

“DECA has given me some of the best opportunities of my life. It has made me network and have connections that I would have never had without DECA,” Finch said.

For this event, students donned their business attire and were given scenarios including having to pitch their projects to a business, convincing them to buy and use the service. From Grayson County High School, freshman Isaac Butler presented his communication service called thundercloud.

“It makes me feel really good to do this actually. I’ve been preparing for this for months, so this is a great release,” Butler said.

While freshman like Butler are here for the first time, Edmonson County High School’s senior Jonah Miller is finishing up, but said there’s even more fun ahead.

“I’ve been in DECA for four years, and this is my last year competing. I think it’s been a great year so far, and it’s just getting started,” Miller said.

While these entrepreneurs are young right now, Finch said DECA gives these students a chance to see how adults operate in the business world, and it comes with the added confidence of creating their own ideas for the benefit of others and the community.

“It definitely gives more of an adult feel for life, because you go places where your parents aren’t helicopter parenting you. It’s a wonderful experience, and I think everyone should have the opportunity to do so,” Finch said.

The state DECA competition will be at the Galt House in Louisville. It’ll take place from March 1 through 3.