Students learn business management and networking skills
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – It’s been a busy year for DECA club advisor Bekka Tucker and the DECA student members at Caldera High School.
DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America.
Tucker has been a part of DECA for four years, arriving to start the program at Caldera this year after working at Bend High School.
“It’s been a lot of work, because I’m used to having years of these kids turn over and become seniors,” she said recently. “They do such a great job. This year, I’m doing that work.”
Caldera is Bend-La Pine's newest high school, and it welcomed its first group of ninth- and 10th-graders last September.
A handful of those students said they joined DECA to enrich their high school experience at the new school.
Nationwide, DECA has more than 173,000 members across 3,200 high schools.
Ayden Colley, the DECA student board president, believes the skills DECA teaches students are beneficial in any career field.
“We focus on building business leaders and individuals to help run businesses,” Colley said. “It’s an experience for anyone. I personally want to work in the medical field, and that doesn’t affect my decision to go into DECA.”
Caldera student and DECA board member Claire Harris said she joined to learn day-to-day business management skills.
“I really wanted to add it to my repertoire, and I think it will help me in the future if I do choose to be an entrepreneur,” Harris said.
Reese Bradbury, a fellow DECA board member, said she didn't even know what an entrepreneur was until she joined.
The student members also help run Caldera’s student store, where they learn how to sell merchandise, run inventory and manage money.
Marlen Dominguez, the club’s officer of career and development, is in charge of running the store and training new student employees.
“I really enjoy the atmosphere we have,” Dominguez said. “It’s really accepting.”
Tucker said the $500 from Mid Oregon Credit Union will go toward travel expenses for state and national DECA conferences.
“We want to make sure that students feel like they can go and that money is not a barrier,” Tucker said.