In the spring of 2012, Wilcox HIgh School opened a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter. FBLA is a nationally recognized Career Student Career Organization. At the start of the 2012- 2013 school year, a small group of members attended the regional leadership conference in Morgan Hill to learn more about this professional business organization. A few students participated in events at the regional level in the spring. The following school year (2013-14) members attended the fall leadership conference and again in the spring participated in events that were held at Homestead High School.
Wilcox High School disbanded the FBLA chapter in favor of opening a new DECA chapter to increase the leadership and event offerings to students. DECA offered outstanding resources and support for new chapters. Our members were focused on leadership training (via a fall leadership conference) and competition preparation. The chapter goal was to increase membership and participation.
We continued our focus on leadership opportunities and individual and team competitive events as well as a chapter community service project. The community service project involved financial education workshops for at-risk youth who lived in a local Women’s Shelter. At the California State Career Development Conference (SCDC), it was exciting to have a second place qualifier for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in the Principles of Finance category. He would also go on to score in the top 15% at the ICDC level in that division.
Although the chapter did not have anyone qualify for ICDC this year, participants performed better as a group than they had before, with 4 top 10 finishes in competitions at SCDC in San Diego. We also taught 6 lessons on financial literacy in Mr. Ivy’s fifth-grade class at Laurelwood Elementary School and we expanded our efforts to enter other competitions, such as the Personal Finance Challenge and the National Economics Challenge.
In addition to DECA events and the Personal Finance Challenge, the Diamond Challenge (a shark tank style business competition) was added to our competitions. One team from Wilcox qualified at the Western Regionals in Danville, California, to attend the International competition held at the University of Delaware. We also had a team that placed third in the Financial Advisor’s Competition held in Los Angeles. At the DECA’s California SCDC in Anaheim, 4 of our 16 entrants finished in the top 10 of some form of their division. In the Investwrite Challenge (a program of the SIFMA Foundation) our DECA chapter president won the state of California as a sophomore with his essay on Non Profits. We also participated in the FlexFactor competition (a local event that is also shark tank style where students have to envision and pitch a product using flexible hybrid electronics).
We opened up the year with a state championship at the Financial Advisor Competition in Los Angeles. We finished 2nd in the FlexFactor competition beating teams from 7 other high schools. We had our best yet showing at the DECA competition in Anaheim by having 6 of our 16 entrants finish in the top 10 in some of their divisions. Chapter members returned to Mr. Ivy’s fifth-grade class to teach financial literacy lessons as a community service project. The team reporting on this project qualified to attend ICDC in Orlando, Florida. We won the Western Regionals for a second straight year to qualify to head back to the National Semifinals at the University of Delaware in the Diamond Challenge. Our group finished 11th in the World. There are approximately 70 teams from 50 countries that qualify for this event. Each team had to win their own region or national championship to qualify to get to the finals. We also won Northern California at the Personal Finance Challenge held in San Francisco.
We opened up this year the same as last as we won our second straight state championship at the Financial Advisor Competition in Los Angeles. We followed that up by winning the FlexFactor competition held at Evergreen Valley College. We had our best performance to date in the DECA (SCDC) competition. Eight out of our 16 students that entered the competition finished in the top 10 of their division statewide. We had 2 individual students and one team of three students qualify for the international level of DECA (ICDC). For the third straight year we won the Western Regionals of the Diamond Challenge Competition. We had a student win the National Championship in the All-Access Challenge. This is a competition which has students competing in complex virtual simulations that are created by businesses. Finally, we beat out over 2300 other teams and won both the state and national championship in the Personal Finance Challenge.
We opened up the year with a 3rd place finish statewide in the Financial Advisor Challenge. We won our second straight FlexFactor championship. We topped last year’s DECA performance when we had 11 of our 15 students finish in the top 10 of their divisions statewide. We had 4 students qualify for ICDC. Three of the 4 students we sent to ICDC finished in the top 10 of at least one part of their division. One of our students finished 4th in the international division of his division. We had a group of three freshmen that won our fourth straight Western Regional Championship at the Diamond Challenge. Previously we had struggled at the international level of this competition. This year our group finished tied for 3rd in the world. Finally in the spring we had a student win his second straight national championship in the All-Access challenge sponsored by Knowledge Matters.