HDFC 2021

On November 21st, 71 students from The Harker School as well as DaVinci Communications High School attended the first ever Harker DECA Fall Conference. Attendees were provided the opportunity to virtually experience a conference opening the 2020-21 competitive season. The day consisted of two alumni speakers, a role-play and testing tournament, and a written events feedback session with industry professionals. 

“HDFC was an amazing initiative that our officer team took on this year and a great opportunity for DECA students to hone their business skills and knowledge. While adapting to the remote learning environment, each officer played a key role in organizing HDFC. We invited a relatively new DECA Chapter, Da Vinci Communications School, to this conference to prepare their members as well,” said Harker DECA Co-Chief Executive Officer, Anvitha Tummala (12). “Our conference included a fun icebreaker, two speaker events with an industry professional and Harker DECA alumni, a role-play tournament, and written event feedback session. Our very own Harker DECA Mentors helped judge students' role-plays, and parent judges and industry professionals gave valuable feedback to students based on their written events. Furthermore, students were able to learn from our speakers, meet other DECA students, and simulate a true conference environment. I believe it was truly a great opportunity for our members to gain conference experience and improve their competitive events.”

Early afternoon on Saturday, attendees and officers joined the Zoom conference for a short opening ceremony, followed by a presentation from Chadwick Manning, a Harker alumni, about The Art of Pitching. Afterwards, the officer team hosted an Icebreaker Activity for the Harker and Da Vinci students to get to know each other. Attendees were sent to breakout rooms of six, each with an officer, to complete various tasks together such as drawing a DECA diamond with their favorite hobbies and pinning their dream travel destinations on Google MyMaps. 

“As a first year member, HDFC was a great opportunity for me to experience what a real conference would be like,” said attendee Grace Hoang (10).  

Following the icebreaker, attendees were sent to a breakout room to prepare their role-plays, later to be judged by Harker DECA's upperclassmen mentorship team and officers. 

Next, attendees gathered for Harker alumna Alexis Gauba’s workshop, where she spoke about combining passions to craft a career path right for each student. Twelve parent judges then joined to give attendees feedback on their written events and presentations, with testing taking place simultaneously. Soon after, Harker DECA Co-CEO’s Anvitha Tummala (12) and Lisa Barooah (12) announced roleplay and testing awards and gave closing speeches.

“It was quite the honor seeing our officer team pivot from having an established conference that would’ve been already planned and curated for us, to creating hosting and running our own fall conference and inviting an additional chapter to join Harker DECA. The officers went above and beyond to bring a top quality experience for all of our members and I couldn’t be more proud of them as we kick off the DECA season. They truly demonstrated how to rise to the #nextlevel,” said Chapter Advisor, Mr. Glass.

Students that won awards are as follows:

Roleplay Tournament:

Principles of Hospitality and Tourism:

     1st Place: Meishin Yen (9)

     2nd Place: Claire Luo (9)

     3rd Place: Edis Mesic (9)

     4th Place: Harshini Chaturvedula(9)

     5th Place: Siddhi Jain (9)

Principles of Marketing: 

     1st Place: Cynthia Wang (9)

     2nd Place: Mahina Matias 

     3rd Place: Annmaria Antony (10)

     4th Place: Reza Jalil (9)

     5th Place: David Saddler (DaVinci)

Principles of Business Management & Administration:

     1st Place: Ella Yee (9)

     2nd Place: Jessika Donis (DaVinci)

     3rd Place: Claire Miao (9)

Principles of Finance:

     1st Place: Jaylon Jones (DaVinci)

     2nd Place: Anjali Yella (9)

     3rd Place: Olivia Xu (9)

Testing Winners:

     1st Place: Reshma Kosaraju (9)

     2nd Place: Shreeya Merchia (9)

     3rd Place: Kaitlyn Wang (9)