UHS DECA competes; Johnson places Top 10 at National


By Thomas Russell



UHS DECA members pose in front of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium before Opening Session at DECA inc’s ICDC. Members from left to right include Riley Johnson, Grace Ullom, Duke Buckalew, Laken Ridgwell, Marah Donahoe, Justin Rutan, and DECA Advisor Thomas Russell.

UHS DECA members pose in front of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium before Opening Session at DECA inc’s ICDC. Members from left to right include Riley Johnson, Grace Ullom, Duke Buckalew, Laken Ridgwell, Marah Donahoe, Justin Rutan, and DECA Advisor Thomas Russell.


Submitted photo

On April 22-27, six members of the Urbana High School DECA Chapter traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to compete in DECA inc’s International Career Development Conference. Over 20,000 students from all 50 states, Canada, Spain, Guam, Germany, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Latvia participated in a multitude of events that focused on Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Finance, Hospitality, and Management.

Urbana’s members included seniors Duke Buckalew, Marah Donahoe, Riley Johnson, Laken Ridgwell, Justin Rutan, and Grace Ullom. Each group prepared a 20-page paper and 15-minute presentation to take in front of a judge.

The team of Buckalew and Donahoe participated in Project Management Community Awareness – where they planned and executed mental health efforts at UHS. Ridgwell, Rutan, and Ullom participated in Project Management Financial Literacy – where they teamed up with The Ohio State University’s Champaign County Extension office to bring Real Money, Real World to UHS and increase the amount of financial literacy within the school.

Riley Johnson competed in the Business Growth Plan event, where each competitor is required to be a documented owner of the business they are presenting. This project required Johnson to create a 5-year plan for his business, ROO Creations – an online art company. Johnson defied the odds and was named a National Finalist – meaning his project was among the top 10% of projects submitted. Johnson then gave his presentation a second time and took home 5th place honors. UHS DECA received its first-ever national finalist in Johnson as well as their highest placing in chapter history.

In 2022-2023 the UHS DECA Chapter will pursue these achievements once again, as the planning for ICDC in Orlando has already begun. Stay updated on the Chapter’s plans and progress on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @urbanadeca. The Chapter has plans to bring back Real Money, Real World, Mental Health Fair, Climber Contribution, Chapter Sponsorship & Banner Fundraiser, as well as adding new events. If you, someone you know, or a local business would like to support please contact Thomas Russell, DECA Advisor at [email protected]

UHS DECA members pose in front of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium before Opening Session at DECA inc’s ICDC. Members from left to right include Riley Johnson, Grace Ullom, Duke Buckalew, Laken Ridgwell, Marah Donahoe, Justin Rutan, and DECA Advisor Thomas Russell.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2022/04/web1_Deca-.jpgUHS DECA members pose in front of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium before Opening Session at DECA inc’s ICDC. Members from left to right include Riley Johnson, Grace Ullom, Duke Buckalew, Laken Ridgwell, Marah Donahoe, Justin Rutan, and DECA Advisor Thomas Russell. Submitted photo

By Thomas Russell

Thomas Russell is the UHS DECA Advisor.

Thomas Russell is the UHS DECA Advisor.