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Virginia DECA Foundation

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Over the last 17 years, the most important lessons I’ve been taught are to take life one day at a time, and always accept people and things for what they are. The quote: "Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human” suits my life perfectly. I’ve been an active DECA member since my sophomore year in high school, and I am currently the Virginia DECA State President serving 15,000 members.

Emily Ashby
Clarke High School
State President 2009-2010


Throughout the years, DECA has provided many great opportunities to students across the state of Virginia. Both personally and professionally, DECA has helped its members meet other like-minded students, gain professional experience, raise their self-confidence and realize their potential for success—all while in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Read what some current DECA students have to say.

Aaron Van Allen
Tunstall High School
State President 2007-2009

Virginia DECA has been one of, if not the largest influence on my life. The traits that you learn from the marketing program and also Virginia DECA are invaluable. DECA works because of the awesome impact that it has on students’ lives.

Throughout the entire program you get to experience and do things that others do not. You get to see the whole country, network with people from completely different lifestyles and interact with some of the most prominent business leaders of today. The classroom also teaches you to handle yourself in a very financially stable way.

I will be forever grateful for all of the experiences and life lessons that I have learned through the program. Marketing education and DECA not only teach you about the topic in the classroom, but they also teach you about life! And for that I will be forever grateful!

Cameron Johnson
Already being a young entrepreneur, I was very fortunate DECA was offered in my school. It allowed me to put my skills to the test on an international playing field. Marketing classes, and the DECA program, are something that should be available to all students. The program gives students confidence, but most importantly shows them real-world application of the textbook lessons. That's priceless, and I'm thankful for it!

Alex Demetrius-President
Cosby High School

DECA has been a real eye opener for me. Now I can clearly see the path of success ahead of me because I am involved in such a great club. Being an active member of DECA not only looks good on resumes, college and job applications, but it also trains you to learn ethics and helps you to better understand personal and business morals. We have been fortunate enough to compete at the state competition two years in a row and this year we plan to take it all the way to Nationals! DECA has opened many doors for us here at Cosby High School and no matter what career we choose, we all know that what we've learned from the DECA community will help us to succeed.

Liz Eastham

Campbell County High School
DECA is a lot of fun and I really learn a lot; I got hooked my first year!

Jeremy Gross
Campbell County High School
DECA participation looks good on a résumé and it offers a lot of scholarship opportunities.

Mary Hopper
Kelly Walsh Chapter Advisor
Honestly, our students join to go on trips and meet new people. Some tell me, “My friends say DECA is cool.” I also mention to them that some local businesses will hire DECA students above other students and sometimes pay them more than other students – that’s an incentive!

Allen Hankins

Campbell County High School
DECA not only prepares you for a career in business, but it also offers a lot of travel opportunities – Salt Lake City, Orlando and Nashville – what other high school program can do that?

Ryan Ward
Newport News

DECA has given me a better understanding of the business world. I will have a head start when I enter college.

Napoleon Peoples
Newport News

DECA has given me an outlet to be involved in my school and community. I plan to use the experience DECA has given me in the future as I enter college.

Brittany Knight
Turner Ashby High School

In DECA we give back to our community by doing several community service projects such as the Angel Tree project, canned food drive, Relay for Life, and Christmas Caroling at nursing
homes. Our members really get in to these activities and each year we complete over 2,000 hours of community service.

In Marketing/DECA we do a lot of public speaking and presentations so now it is really easy for me to get up in front of large groups of people and talk, whereas before I was always very shy in front of people.

Miranda Dove
Turner Ashby High School

DECA has changed my life in many ways. It has made me feel much more confident speaking in front of people and has allowed me to get involved in a lot of activities."

Megan Heatwole
Turner Ashby High School

DECA has made me come out of my shell. Getting up and giving speeches has really boosted my self-confidence.

Andrew Scordo
Turner Ashby High School

DECA has given me a lot of experience with speaking in front of an audience, which builds my self-confidence. DECA also has made me a better person because of all the community service
activities we do.

Trey Foster
Turner Ashby High School

Our DECA chapter does a lot of fun activities, but my favorite activity is the Angel Tree Project because it gives us a chance to really give back to our community by buying Christmas presents for needy children who otherwise would have nothing on Christmas morning. Last year our chapter did really well and bought almost $4,000 worth of items for 70 children in the area.

Hallie Brunton
Turner Ashby High School

Participating in DECA competitions has been an amazing experience. Last year I competed for the first time and my partner and I ended up winning first place in our event at SLC. We went to ICDC and had a blast in Atlanta and we're gearing up this year for another great conference in Anaheim."

Mustafa Gardizi
West Springfield High School

My freshmen year of high school I joined DECA just for the field trips but my teacher was urging me to compete at districts. I thought she was just being nice but when I went to competition it was an experience I'll never forget. Now the skills I've learned in the competitions have lead me to jobs with the Washington Redskins and Washington Wizards.

Liz McDowell
Career & Technical Education Department Chair
Marketing & DECA Advisor
West Springfield High School
Sandi Tucker
Advisor - Dominion High School

DECA has taught my students the importance of community service. They continually learn how to look beyond their own needs and focus on how they can help others.