BROWNSTOWN – A gold medal and a top-four finish gave three DECA members from Brownstown Central High School the opportunity to compete in an international event.
Brewed Awakening, the BCHS coffeehouse, was among 461 school businesses in the United States that achieved gold-level certification for the 2021-22 school year. He will be recognized at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
Senior Taylor Loudermilk placed second in Quick Service Restaurant Management at the DECA State Competition in Indianapolis, which also earned her a spot in the ICDC.
Chesney Johnson senior and Samantha Kellogg junior, who help run the cafe with Loudermilk, will attend the School-Based Enterprise Academy. The teaching area of this year’s competition focuses on human resources.
BCHS DECA Advisor Robin Perry will accompany the trio to ICDC, April 23-26.
“It’s amazing, awesome. They do such a good job,” Perry said of his students. “I’m glad they have this opportunity.”
At the conference, 17,000 high school students, counsellors, business people and alumni will come together to develop knowledge and skills for college and careers.
This includes more than 10,000 DECA members who will demonstrate their academic and professional knowledge and skills by participating in DECA’s competitive events program. They are finalists from their chartered associations and hope to be named international champions.
DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management at high schools and colleges around the world.
From the School-Based Enterprise Academy to executive leadership campaigns to professional advisor learning, ICDC brings together the best of the best to culminate in a successful DECA academic year.
In February, Perry was informed that Brewed Awakening had achieved goal-level certification for the third time in four years of operation.
A school enterprise is an entrepreneurial school-based operation that provides goods and services to meet market needs. They are student-run and operated as hands-on learning labs that incorporate national curriculum standards in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.
DECA counselors have used this educational tool for more than four decades to provide students with realistic and practical learning experiences that reinforce classroom instruction, enhance 21st century skills development, and prepare students for college and college. careers.
To apply for certification, SBEs must submit detailed documentation that outlines how they demonstrate practice of various marketing and retail standards. A review committee evaluates the documentation to determine the level of certification that has been achieved. DECA’s SBE programs are sponsored by Intuit and Otis Spunkmeyer Inc.
For BCHS, Loudermilk helped write the 23-page document for recertification and was helped by other students who work in the cafe and Perry.
“It’s just to show DECA that we’re improving the store and still learning from it just so it’s not more of a hobby than a real learning environment,” Loudermilk said. “It’s a business lab.”
At the conference, Johnson and Kellogg will present on Brewed Awakening as Loudermilk will be competing in his individual event.
They will give an overview of the café, show a video created by Kellogg to give the judges a good picture of how it works and explain the human resources aspects.
“We’ve basically broken down all the actions that happen in the cafe, whether it’s making lemonade, getting ice cream, balancing a drawer, refilling syrup bottles, organizing the dish rack,” Loudermilk said of the video.
Since that part is done, Johnson said it’s just a matter of fitting it into the presentation and she and Kellogg are working out what to say.
“You can’t write everything on the slides. You have to understand what you’re saying, who’s going to speak,” Johnson said. “I’ve never worked with Sam on anything with a partner before, so we’ll have to figure out each other’s rhythms and stuff like that.”
During the SBE Academy, Johnson and Kellogg will also participate in professional development sessions and network with other SBE managers.
For the individual Loudermilk event, she will have role plays and take the hospitality and tourism career group exam.
These were also part of the district and state contests. She said she was surprised to place second in the state.
“Quick serve is one of the events where our district doesn’t have a lot of (competitors), but statewide, every spot is filled in every district,” she said. “It seems like there are a lot of people in this event, so I surprised myself by getting second place overall.”
She received a skill medallion for doing well on the exam, and she knew she had done well in one of her role plays.
“But I ended up scoring much better on the one I didn’t think I did well on, which was surprising,” she said. “I’m really thrilled to have done so well, but I was more excited to have been able to meet a lot of other fast serve people.”
At ICDC, she said it would be a new step in the competition.
“I’m going to have to up my game, make sure I get all those performance metrics just to score well and do my best,” Loudermilk said.
This will be Loudermilk’s second time at ICDC, while it will be a new experience for Johnson and Kellogg.
This will also be the final conference as BCHS DECA members for both seniors.
“I think the most important thing is that we come from Jackson County. It’s very rural. It’s great to go to these places and meet these people from everywhere,” Johnson said. “Also, they are well educated and they are just coming out of this bubble. … It’s so different. In high school, it’s crazy to have those real-world feelings as a senior.
Johnson plans to go to Indiana University to get a pre-law degree and minor in business so she can get into corporate law. So she said ICDC would help her see how a business works and the different mindsets associated with it.
Loudermilk said she has come a long way since her first time at ICDC.
“This experience has already blown my horizons,” she said. “First year being able to go to ICDC with the school enterprise Brewed Awakening, I wasn’t very good at competing at that time, but that knowledge of those academies, I took it back and I extended Brewed Awakening over the past three years.”
Then this year, doing so well in her one-on-one event, which has a similar mindset to coffee, broadened her knowledge and experience.
“It just makes me appreciate pretty much all of our quick service restaurants around us and all that they have to go through, and just putting management skills into the next part of my life is the best part about it. topic,” Loudermilk said.
Since Kellogg will be the only one of the three returning to Brewed Awakening next year, she said ICDC would be a great learning experience to be able to run the operation of the shop.
“I want to open my own business when I’m older,” Kellogg said. “The fact that (Loudermilk) helped me learn from all of this is going to make it a lot easier to be able to do it because I always want to be able to make it work. If I want to be the leader of it like Taylor is, then I understand how to do it.