Savvy business students from the Academy of the Holy Angels earned Top 10 recognition at the DECA International Career Development Conference held April 21-26 in Orlando, Florida. Seniors Jaclyn Larraz of Blauvelt, New York, and Shivani Sahu of Paramus finished in the Top 10 in virtual business challenge/fashion and automotive services marketing, respectively. Sahu also earned awards for receiving excellent test and role play scores.
AHA’s DECA ICDC representatives and their areas of expertise also included Sharanya Agarwal (’25) of West New York, human resources management; Elena Fiorentinos (’24) of Cresskill, principles of hospitality and tourism; and Annabelle Hur (’23) of Norwood and Alexis Jacob (’23) of Tappan, New York, both of whom competed in entrepreneurship franchise business plan.
“All six girls competed against thousands of other DECA students from all 50 states, and nine other countries,” said AHA DECA Adviser Krystal Reilly. “We are so proud of how they all represented Holy Angels and the State of New Jersey.”
Sahu thoroughly enjoyed her experience at this year’s conference.
“Seeing our ICDC attendance double since last year truly made my last-ever high school DECA experience so much more amazing,” she said. “It was a well-balanced mix of competing, exploring theme parks with friends, and networking with other impassioned high schoolers. I am so proud of everyone who competed this year and was excited to receive medals for testing, Role Play I (finalist), and Top 10 in my category of automotive services marketing, and to see Jackie place Top 10 for her virtual business challenge. It was such a memorable experience and is a great end to my high school career!”
Larraz added, “To me, DECA is so much more than a competition; it is an experience. I have met so many amazing people and made so many memories in the past two years at ICDC. I am so proud of everyone who participated in regionals, states, and nationals this year.”
This fall, Larraz plans to continue her DECA journey at the University of Connecticut.
In 2022, AHA team members Agarwal, Sahu, and Larraz became the first Angels to qualify for DECA ICDC. All three made encore performances this year.
Students qualify for the international conference by successfully competing in the statewide event. This February, Sahu, Agarwal, Sophia Lee, and Tristan Fowler received 2023 state-level awards. Fowler and Amanda and Lauren Tomasella qualified for the international event; however, these three Angels did not compete.
Angels have been involved in DECA (the international organization formerly known as Distributive Education Clubs of America) since 2018. AHA also offers students various business courses, a chapter of the National Business Honor Society, and opportunities to participate in internships led by Holy Angels alumnae.