Budding Entrepreneurs Get Head Start at DECA


Kean’s Union campus was bustling with students during the winter break, as approximately 2,500 students from 30 New Jersey high schools convened for the New Jersey DECA Central Region Conference on January 11 and 12.

They took part in industry-developed, educational, real-world scenarios and case studies in the fields of marketing, management, hospitality and finance as they competed for awards and scholarships.

“The program helps us learn soft skills in public speaking and prepares us for our future,” said Samantha Carbajal from South Plainfield High School, who intends to pursue a career in business and politics.

New Jersey DECA is funded by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Education and is administered by the Kean University College of Business and Public Management. DECA will award more than $350,000 in scholarship aid this year.

“Through this program, students gain career-ready skills and focused knowledge that bridge the learning gap from the classroom to college to employment,” said Jeffrey Victor, NJ DECA  executive director. “Kean's strength in academic offerings and access to world-class facilities make it the best-suited location, and Kean also supports DECA students through credit programs, scholarships, activities such as Collegiate DECA and personalized advisement and mentoring.”

The winners of the regional conferences advance to the State Career Development Conference in Atlantic City at the end of February. The winners there will then move to the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta in April, competing against international student entrepreneurs from DECA programs in Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain.

For more information on NJ DECA at Kean University, please email info@njdeca.org or call at (908) 737-4140.


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