PAYTON HEBERT & ALEXANDRA WHITE
DECA hosts craft fair to fund Florida conference
Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) will have a craft fair on March 31 in the Science and Technology Center (STC), to fundraise for members of the club to attend the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida, next month. The event is open to all community members and includes 25 vendors, food, and crafts. The admission fee for community members is $15, or $5 for students to attend the craft fair.
Lasell’s chapter of DECA aims to develop business and leadership skills in students through academic competitions. DECA is open to students of any variety of majors and interests. The club competes against other schools in Massachusetts with the hope of making it to ICDC.
“You compete against other schools in different categories… it could be just something you're interested in,” said junior marketing major and Co-President of DECA Meaghan Csongor. “We competed against schools in Massachusetts, and then we all advanced, so now we're going to internationals in Orlando next month, where we compete against schools from all over the world.”
DECA hopes the craft fair will bring together members of the community and generate enough interest and support to help gain the funds necessary to attend the conference. “We want to have as many people as possible come to the event. If they want to come and support, help, or donate to us to attend ICDC that'd be great. But yeah, just coming and supporting us is what we're really looking for”, said Csongor.
The club has competed at the ICDC in past years and has had success, which the club hopes to continue this year. Of the seven students who competed at the last conference, two placed top three in their categories, and an additional two students placed within the top ten. Now, the number of DECA members representing Lasell has grown to around fifteen, which is additional motivation for the club to compete in the conference according to sophomore business administration and management major, and Vice President of Education Bianca Almeida.
“The fact that all of us, even our new members, can go to ICDC is awesome. It's honestly our goal, we were really hoping that nobody would have to stay behind,” said Almeida.
Almeida also emphasized the opportunity the conference provides for members to make connections with professionals as well as other students. “DECA is great for establishing business skills like negotiating and public speaking and networking. Being able to talk to students from schools across the country and internationally and make connections with the judges, who are often industry professionals, is really important. I think it's great to start building a repertoire and get to know people from schools, especially ones in the area. I've met a bunch of kids from Bentley, UMass Dartmouth, and Endicott that have provided me with internship contacts” said Almeida.
DECA has a goal to raise $5,000 for their trip and the money will be used for registration fees, hotels, and transportation costs. Aside from the craft fair, the club also has a GoFundMe, which has successfully raised around $2,600 in donations so far. For those looking to attend the craft fair, it will be held from 3:00-7:00 p.m. in the (STC).