North Lenoir DECA finalists hope to raise money for international competition
North Lenoir sophomores Karrie-Lyn Deaver, left, and Gracie Herring were finalists in the state DECA competition in Greensboro. Submitted photo
LA GRANGE — North Lenoir’s DECA finalists are hoping to compete on the national circuit.
Karrie-Lyn Deaver and Gracie Herring are looking to advance further after being named finalists in the N.C. DECA Career Development Conference in Greensboro, which was held March 14-16. Five students placed in the proficiency test — the aforementioned duo, along with Trey Barnes, Briana Carmon and Savion White — with Deaver and Herring qualifying for the international competition, held in Orlando from April 26 through May 1.
“Being first-year students in DECA is a big deal in itself, competing against others who have years of experience,” Herring said. “It was amazing just to have the opportunity to go to Greensboro — we learned a lot about being more professional and putting together presentations — and now we have the chance to go to Orlando and present in front of 18,000 other members.”
North Lenoir is in its first year with DECA — Distributive Education Clubs of America — and focused toward preparing leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Ashley Heath is the leader of the organization and said it’s an important factor in student development.
“I teach marketing classes at the school, and this program intertwines with courses,” Heath said. “It also teaches leadership, management and public speaking, which helps them not only in high school, but beyond.”
Currently, the finalists are looking to raise money for the trip. The county has agreed to pay for some expenses, but the students are trying to raise about $2,000 for others. Deaver said there are ideas in the works.
“We want to have a bake sale and hopefully do an Easter egg hunt for the community,” Deaver said. “We’ve also thought about a dodgeball tournament, selling barbecue plates, really anything to involve the community and raise money for the trip.”
Heath said it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Deaver and Herring if they’re able to go.
“You have to be at a certain level to be invited, and they’ll also go to a leadership academy for two days,” Heath said. “They’ve put in a lot of time and effort to get here, from putting together the blood drive event (in December), the presentations, the research paper.
“They’ve just done a tremendous job.”
For those looking to send donations, contact Heath at email@example.com.