Thursday March 02, 2017
With the beginning of each school year comes the opportunity for South Burlington High School (SBHS) seniors to participate in a Senior Challenge. Currently, three SBHS seniors have taken on this challenge, which is described as “an exploratory, experiential project of the student’s own design, based on an area of particular interest to the student.” SBHS senior, Mehul Shah, and his mentor, Joyce Kemp, the executive director of DECA, formally known as Vermont Distributive Education Clubs of America, have taken this challenge head on, with hopes of creating a web portal for Vermont DECA users. Through this web portal, Shah is “trying to fill a gap between Vermont DECA and members to help them better prepare for the state competitions and the International Career Development Conference (ICDC).”
Founded in 1946, DECA has 3,500 high school chapters across the globe. This international association has conferences and competitions to prepare high school and college students for careers in finance, management, hospitality, and marketing. DECA at SBHS has not only been an outlet for growth of students, but it helps the youth in the community gain real world experiences in careers of their interests. Through DECA, Shah has learned about business, which will help him with his interest of working in management in the science field. He noticed the benefits that DECA reaps for the community and constructed his Senior Challenge to address an essential area which could be improved with the Vermont DECA chapter.
Each chapter has their own methods of how to prepare for competitions since there is no unified resource. Being a member of DECA, Shah knows first handedly how important it is to prepare for state competitions. Aware of the problems with resources that are available to Vermont DECA members, Shah’s web portal, as Shah describes, “is a little different than a website. It is a customized place where different resources are available.” This web portal will consist of essential information needed by DECA advisors to “better prepare members for the state competition and ICDC and hopefully put Vermont on the DECA map by getting more of our members on stage at ICDC.”
Shah and his mentor, Kemp, have collaborated to ensure that his project will meet the goals he envisions. Currently, they are working together to plan how the web portal will be developed. Shah and Kemp are equally excited to build a platform that will greatly help the youth in the community explore careers as they turn into young adults.
SOURCE: Ann Wong, SBHS CDC Correspondent