Over 100 Marjory Stoneman Douglas DECA Members Qualify for ICDC Conference in Orlando
Over 100 MSD DECA students have qualified to compete at ICDC in Orlando this school year. Pictured is Academy of Finance teacher and DECA advisor Lisa Webster with some of the DECA seniors at the 2023 Florida DECA CDC.

By Ivy Lam

From Saturday, April 22 to Tuesday, April 25, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s DECA program, the third largest chapter in the world, will compete at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando.

A total of 102 students qualified for the international level after placing at the top of their competition category at the Florida DECA Career Development Conference (CDC) this month. MSD students placed in the top 10 of several topics, which include single, duo, and group categories.

“I competed in the Financial Consulting category and placed third at states,” said sophomore Raymond Hu. “When I qualified, I was in shock; I did not think I was going to place. It’s my first time going to ICDC, so I’m so excited to hang out with my friends and go to all the new places.”

While over 230 DECA students competed at the state level in Orlando a month prior, from Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, March 5, only students who placed at the top within their respective categories advanced to the international level. Because Florida is hosting the international conference, the top eight (presentation) or top nine (roleplay) DECA students from the state advanced; winners from other states will have fewer numbers than Florida because Florida is hosting ICDC.

“I competed in Business Services Marketing, and I placed seventh. It was really surprising when I qualified for ICDC because I did not think I would place because I competed at states last year in a similar event and didn’t place,” said sophomore Lilly Citrin.

Besides the competition scene, select DECA members could participate in the Emerging Leaders Summit, which focused on “the areas of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.”

MSD students interested in competing again in Orlando are required to attend ICDC Meetings on Wednesday, March 8, and Wednesday, April 19. Additionally, the competitors will enjoy Topgolf and Universal during their trip.

“The first time I went to Orlando, I wasn’t very excited because I’d been there so many times. But it’s a totally different experience, and it turned out to be one of the best trips I’ve ever taken,” said Academy of Finance teacher and DECA advisor Lisa Webster.

The actual conference will be from April 22 to April 25; however, since Orlando is not too far from Parkland, MSD’s DECA chapter decided to come home earlier than usual, as the other ICDC locations are in Anaheim, California, and Atlanta, Georgia, which require more travel time. 

To prepare for the large-scale competition, MSD DECA officers and advisors worked together to provide competitors with practice tests and roleplay sessions. Students who have prepared a presentation are able to present in front of judges to receive advice and feedback to increase their chances of success.

“This year, we had the highest number of ICDC qualifiers,” said Webster. “One of the new things we implemented is a requirement for students to come in after school to either prepare for their roleplay, presentation, or testing event. I think that really helped students focus on what needed to be done in order to be successful.”

Moreover, trading pins with other states and countries is a tradition at ICDC. The special souvenirs serve as a reminder of the new connections formed and the memories made. Nonetheless, students will enjoy the theme parks Orlando is known for and will visit several other locations during their five-day stay. The trip allows DECA members to spend quality time with each other and meet new friends from different places.

“I’m looking forward to ICDC even though it’s in Orlando because a bunch of my friends are going, and I get to meet a bunch of people since all the different states come, which is very cool,” said Citrin.

As the competition season approaches its end, the DECA advisors–Webster, Sharon Cutler, Mitchell Albert, and McKenzie Malone–as well as next year’s officer board, will be preparing for the upcoming school year. The 2022-2023 ICDC will take place in Orlando, Florida, from April 22 to April 26.

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Author Profile

Ivy Lam
Ivy Lam
Ivy Lam is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This school year, she is the National Honor Society President, Eagle Eye Newspaper Editor, and Senior Class Senator. Her interests include writing, research, and public policy, all of which she will pursue further in college.
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