DECA seniors win $25,000 for Kaiser

Four members from Kaiser’s DECA club, seniors Kelli Chinen, Jacob Heberle, Justin Hong, and Micah Miyashiro, recently won first place in the American Savings Bank Keiki Co. Contest, earning $25,000 for the school. DECA, or Delta Epsilon Chi and Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a club for emerging business leaders. Students entering the contest were expected to create a fictional business, write out a business plan, and film a video pitch for their business.

The four seniors created a business idea called Classmate, a late night tutoring service where students could have face-to-face conversations and lessons with teachers. Ms. Elizabeth Ben, DECA’s advisor, invited guest speakers from the American Savings Bank to guide the students on developing a business ideas.

The business plan took the team a week to plan and film the video pitch. “A challenging thing about creating the business plan was that there was a limit of only five pages. There was a lot of information we wanted to add,” Hong said. Despite having to work around the page maximum, the students believe that the project was worth it. “The fact that our business plan, which we put into a lot of effort and time, was able to win against over ninety competitors is definitely something I am most proud of,” Chinen said.

When the Kaiser DECA club were notified that they had won first place, they were ecstatic. “I think none of us expected that we could win a popular business contest we had never entered before,” said Heberle. “After we were announced winners, the first thing I did was look for my teammates. I couldn’t do this without them.”

The $25,000 will go towards the school, and the DECA team has advised Principal Mew to invest it into air conditioning and modernizing the school.

For students who might consider joining DECA, Miyashiro has this to say: “You should always try to get as much learning material from other people. You can learn a lot from others.” DECA helps students think in different and creative ways to approach problems. “[DECA shows you that] an idea is is never bad as long as you can back it up with a thorough business plan, and it can come into fruition one day,” said Hong.

The club also prepares them for the business field that they plan to go into in the future. “In college, I plan to major in Global Business and Management  and pursue a career as an executive officer in an international cooperation,” said Chinen. “With DECA, you really get to dip your toes in the business field. It has opened up a world of opportunities for  high school students like me,” Chinen said. If you’re interested in business, or just approaching problems in new and creative ways, pop in for a DECA club meeting during Thursday lunch at E202.

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