October 24, 2017
The former business club of Atholton, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), has officially been disbanded for the 2017-2018 year and replaced with a new club: DECA, also known as The Distributive Education Clubs of America. DECA is an organization that prepares students for careers and education in marketing, finance, hospitality, management, and other business areas, according to the official website of DECA.
The introduction of this new marketing focused club offers many opportunities for the students of Atholton. In comparison to FBLA, this club will be far more active and be expecting more involvement from its members. “We want the members of DECA to be more vested in the club so that we can accomplish goals including community service and other fundraising projects,” said advisor Mr. Lathroum.
There will be one major change from FBLA: only students who have taken business classes at Atholton (Principles of Business, Marketing, Accounting, or Advanced Marketing) in the past or are currently enrolled in them will be able to participate in DECA. This rule has been put in place due to FBLA members’ former lack of commitment to the club.
“Members of DECA are expected to attend every single meeting and missing meetings consistently will likely result in removal from the club,” said Co-President Kyle Mattejat. With only seriously interested members, DECA is looking to be active with biweekly meetings and events, including a visit to Baltimore, regional competitions, and several guest speakers such as local business owners. There may be some students who feel that DECA being solely for business students may not be fair. With the club in its early stages, advisors Mr. Lathroum and Mr. Mackechnie have the goal of keeping the club small, which is another reason for requiring members to be current or former business students.
On September 18th, DECA held its first official meeting of the year, with almost 50 students attending. Co-Presidents Christianna Kelley and Kyle Mattejat discussed the goals and purpose of the new club.
“It was nice to see that there were plenty of students who want to be involved in DECA. We just want to make sure that the members are really going to be invested in the club,” said Kelley.
DECA has potential to be a very successful club for Atholton depending on the commitment of members in the coming year. They will be attempting to reach States and win more individual and team awards. The future is bright for the newly created club, and it’s now up to the members to help it build on the work started by FBLA.