On Friday, December 6, 2019, Midlothian High School’s DECA chapter celebrated the holiday season during Midlo Morning with the annual DECA Holiday Social. Roughly 60 members gathered in club sponsor Mrs. Carolyn Manheim’s room for the event, enjoying the assortment of drinks, candy, cookies, and Dunkin’ Donut Munchkins. Officers Ryan Monahan, Tiyba Akram, Zach Vanderslice Ben Wrobel, Seth Grossman, and Ben McCormack helped prepare for this special event, distributing chairs throughout the room and spreading the treats across tables. Grossman and Vanderslice took tickets at the door, and the annual winter fun commenced. Holiday music filled the room, as students mingled throughout the classroom, discussing the upcoming DECA District Leadership Conference (DLC) in January.
DECA focuses on the subject area of business and marketing. In order to participate as an active member, students must enroll in a marketing/business class, such as: Principles of Business and Marketing, Sports Marketing, Global Trade, or IB Business Management. The club provides an opportunity for students to experience life as an entrepreneur, an inventor, or a marketing planner. At DECA competitions, the students face difficult tasks involving a business or marketing problem, and they create plans that could solve the problem. From how to bring in more customers to a store on a day that lacks its usual congestion to how to compete with a similar store in the same shopping center, the issues span a wide range of situations. Throughout the year, Manheim hosts different catered social events for club members, such as Virginia DECA Day. Sign-ups for DECA do not begin again until next school year, but as scheduling time approaches, anyone interested in the club should sign up for a marketing class in order to be eligible.
Every year, DECA participates in a holiday service project, typically with the Angel Tree donation program. Last year, they raised around $600 for two different children, providing them with bicycles, clothing, and an assortment of games/toys. However, this year, Vice President of Community Service Zach Vanderslice collected multiple Christmas Mother donation tickets, each featuring a different toy for a child whose parents can not afford to provide them with Christmas gifts. The gifts ranged from basketballs and Spider-Man toys to wireless headphones. Due to the large population in Midlo’s DECA chapter, Manheim’s six classes provided about $300 worth of presents in the span of roughly on week for the project. Manheim comments on her students’ participation in the service project, “As always, I am amazed by our students’ generosity and their spirit of giving.”