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Hamden High DECA Program Success at State and International Competitions


Hamden High School again has demonstrated the success of their impeccable program after winning top honors at the State and International level.

Distributive Education Clubs of America, DECA for short, is an international organization that “prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the world”. The program offers a real hands-on approach to learning and prepares students for success in both college and in their future careers. Along with competitions, the Hamden program runs a school store that helps to raise money for charity. The faculty leader of the program, Bryan Anderson, says that the program “lets the students come out with a solid basic background in business studies so that they are more prepared when they go off to college”. Bryan started off working for GE working in a management training program. He was about to get a big promotion when he decided to become an educator. When Hamden started the DECA program 20 years ago, they offered Bryan a position. Since he took control, Hamden High School has found a lot of success. In the time that Hamden High has offered DECA, 367 students have won at the state level and the program has even achieved 2 First Place awards at the international level. Around the world, 19,000 high school students presented their projects across 50 different events.

On March 6th 2018, Hamden High School Students participated in the 66th annual State Career Development Conference for the Connecticut Association of DECA in Plantsville, CT. The students had 16 top three winners including Marc Pierre & Bryan Lara who won their event in the Financial Literacy Promotion Project. At the international DECA conference from April 21-24 in Atlanta, Georgia, the students also participated in the International Career Development Conference with two projects earning top 3 finishes in the competition. The Hamden High School DECA chapter is no stranger to success with 5 total top 3 finishes.

Ramon Fille earned 2nd Place in the Independent Business Plan division in Atlanta. Ramon started a business called “Baking Memories”. The business creates packages with pre-measured ingredients and cooking equipment and mails them to customers in biodegradable packaging. Right now, the business is still in its formative stages, but Ramon hopes to have it up and running soon and continue to work on it while at Bryant University in Rhode Island. Ramon has been involved in DECA for 3 years and this year he was determined to take home a trophy. Ramon is thankful that he joined DECA and said that it “really gives you the experience to be more confident in yourself”.

Fresh Water Focus, started by Lily Sendroff and Justin Feldshon, earned 3rd place in the Public Relations Project division of the international competition. Lily joined the program on a whim.  She first started in the school store and then she wanted to get more involved in the competitive side of it. By getting involved, she “was able to learn the value of a business education applied to community service which was something I have always been interested in”. Her organization, Fresh Water Focus is a youth branch of the South Asia Pure Water Initiative which works to install BioSand filters in communities that lack adequate fresh water sources. For their project launched a social media PR campaign called “#PopTheDrop” to raise awareness and to collect donations. In addition to running an apparel campaign at school, they featured their charity in both the New Haven Register and in a live segment on Good Morning CT. Lily and Justin have been able to raise over $7000 and assist three Indian villages to gain access to a source of fresh water. Lily will be attending Smith College in the fall. “Without DECA I wouldn’t be as well-spoken. I was able to challenge myself at a level that I could not have without the program”

The Hamden Department of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization has been involved with Hamden High School’s DECA program for over 10 years as a mentor and informal advisor. “I see DECA as a tremendous source of talent that can make a difference in Hamden in the future. If you look at their alumni you will see the fruits of the DECA program has to offer society, something we should all be proud of” says Dale Kroop, the Director of the Department.

For more information about the DECA program in Hamden please contact its director, Bryan Anderson (banderson@hamden.org) or go to their Facebook and Twitter profiles:




And for further information about entrepreneurial opportunities in Hamden please contact Dale Kroop (dkroop@hamden.com).

A Very Busy Summer in the Highwood/Newhall Community
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