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DECA returns from internationals

The Two Harbors DECA team basks in the Atlanta sun after competing in the international competition. Photo courtesy of Julie Benson.

The Two Harbors DECA team recently returned from a trip to Atlanta, Ga., where they competed at internationals -- the highest level of DECA competition.

“What was really great is that I felt it was a team effort,” said Julie Benson, the Two Harbors High School dean of students and DECA advisor. “They felt really, really good about their presentation.”

DECA is an organization that prepares students for careers in marketing, management, finance and hospitality. The team spent the school year raising awareness and money to combat child hunger in Two Harbors. They raised over $1,800 for the BackPack Program, which sends food home with kids facing hunger over the weekends, and held a number of events throughout the year to educate the public about the issue.

For competition, the students had to make and present a public relations plan detailing the work their work. The team placed third at the state competition in March, and spent the next two months planning for Atlanta.

At the International Career Development Conference, they competed against 120 other teams. Only 16 teams advanced. Despite a good showing, the Two Harbors squad didn’t move up.

“There was some disappointment but … we felt good about our presentation,” Benson said. “You’re competing against a lot of other teams. We did the best that we could.”

Last year, the team’s inaugural season, they placed in the top 10 at the international competition. Benson said,= the bottom line is that the kids learned a lot and their work benefited a local cause.

“The biggest thing is that we made an impact in our community,” she said.

Ten kids made the trip to Atlanta: Ashley Lax, Samantha Etienne, Allison Nowacki, Calvin Luhrsen, Nathan Mickelson, Emily Archer, Domenica Sarracco, Meg Peterson, Lexi Homstad and Hunter Truscott.

The community was very supportive of the team this year, Benson said. A slew of individuals and businesses either donated money or lent their expertise to the team.

LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
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