Loudoun County Students Move Forward to Compete in April’s Upcoming ICDC Competitions in Orlando

Many local Loudoun County students, including eleven Woodgrove students, recently placed in the Virginia Beach DECA State Leadership Conference and will be moving forward to compete in the International Career Development Conference in April.  

All Woodgrove competitors who competed at states (SLC) in Virginia Beach.

DECA is an organization for students around the world to prepare future leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in management, hospitality, entrepreneurship and more, with more than 215,000 members worldwide. 

The International Career Development Conference, or ICDC, is the climax of the DECA year where over 20,000 students, teachers and business leaders gather for “several days of DECA excitement” according to DECA’s mission statement. This year the event is being held in Orlando, Florida from April 22-25.  

Eleven Woodgrove students qualified to compete at ICDC. These Woodgrove students include James Dougherty, Bailey Fleming, Haley Weimer, Kyra Jones, Averie Gannon, Nathaniel Sonak, Ian Watson, Matt Chmielewski, Eddie Largent, Drake Woehrle, and Leonardo Becerra.

Nathaniel Sonak is a WHS senior who has competed in SLC all four years and will be competing at ICDC for the second time this year in the category of School Based Enterprise, which is a research project based on the school store. 

“I think that it’s really great to prepare me for my career because I do want to go into finance and write formal business papers, so that’s really nice. The competitions are like interviews,which is great because that’s helpful for me to be able to do in any career I choose – interview and know what skills I need to get a job.”

Seniors are not the only local students that are moving forward to compete in ICDC. Joyce Zheng is a freshman from Stone Bridge High School competing in Hospitality Services Team Decision Making (HTDM). 

“I was drawn to DECA because of the many volunteer and community service opportunities that were offered. When I later educated myself about the organization and the message it stood for, I became interested in competing in a specific event,” says Zheng.

Zheng and her partner, Stone Bridge freshman Ved Bhandare, are both moving forward to compete in ICDC for the first time. 

“I was interested in the various opportunities that DECA had to offer which included volunteering and community service along with competition,” says Bhandare. 

Claire Howard, a freshman from Dominion High School, will be competing in Principles of Marketing at ICDC. 

“My favorite part of DECA is being able to compete, this is one of the first real competitions I’ve been a part of.  I’m honestly surprised I got this far,” says Howard.