DECA 100

Joselyn Huerta, Social Media Consultant

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Austin High School has been participating in DECA for over 50 years now. DECA is a club that is open to all students at AHS, and a business background is not required. It is an opportunity for students to get some exposure to business and learning the basics. Being in this program teaches you more than how to act in the business world. It teaches you how to communicate with people, how to be professional, how to negotiate, how to present, and much more.

Troy Watkins is the DECA Advisor. When asked why he has decided to take on the role, he said “I wanted to help students get ready for the real world, it fits well with what I teach. Help students take the next step, and believe it’s a great benefit for students”. Watkins has been doing this for around 10 years now, and enjoys every minute of it. “DECA is a great club to belong to, because it gives us practice with real world skills that are so important. I have seen students really grow over the years in their confidence and their abilities to communicate with people. It is also a lot of fun”, he said. Watkins had a goal for the amount of kids to join this year, known as DECA 100. He managed to get 119 students to join, 57 of them made it to state which was the largest amount of kids Austin has ever sent. Other than just focusing on the business and competition aspect of this club, the club also arranges events at the High School. There is a pumpkin carving event around Halloween and they even had a Christmas party at South Central Athlete for all students to participate in.

A former DECA participant, Kristina Thorson, said “I wanted to join a business group because I plan to major in business”. Thorson was not able to participate this year due to her busy schedule preparing herself for college, however she would recommend this program to new students because “I think it gives real world experience to get you ready for any career”. Tara Watkins was a participant this year and was one of the 57 students who made it to state. Tara is actually the daughter of Troy Watkins, who encouraged her to join DECA and said “it’s a really good opportunity”. She also found it beneficial because she will be majoring in business. Tara has been in DECA every year of her high school career. Within this club, one gets a lot of business exposure and communication skills. Tara considers DECA to be one of her favorite things about high school, as do the other students who have joined throughout the years. “Have fun with it, be yourself, and smile”.

Troy Watkins
2018 DECA Participants

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