Cove DECA students sweep district contest, advance to state

Special to Leader-Press 

BASTROP—Thirty-four students from the Copperas Cove High School DECA program have advanced to state competition after winning the District V competition Saturday in Bastrop.
DECA is a career and technical education student organization and one of the largest student organizations at Cove High School, with nearly 200 members. Forty members competed in various business and marketing events against 21 other high schools across Central Texas.
“There were 1,329 student competitors with only 445 advancing to state. We feel the pain of those that did not advance,” said DECA CCHS Advisor Charlotte Heinze. “But, District V is known to be the toughest competition in the state.” 
DECA students select various projects that improve the economic status or local businesses and/or improve the quality of life in their communities. One of the big winners in the team category of Entrepreneurship Business Growth Plan included CCHS DECA President Ashley Wilson, Raymond Ramos and Deric Rocha. The project focused on growing CenTex DJ, a mobile music company.  
“We picked a non-traditional event because we were inspired and determined in creating a strategic alliance with a local competitor, Garris Entertainment, to help lower start up business costs, increase sales, build our brand, clientele base, and to help with our five-year plan of business growth,” Wilson said. ”We believe this alliance will benefit both companies gaining clients while increasing exposure.
Wilson, who served as both the chapter and District V DECA President, also received the Texas DECA State Scholarship. 
“Going forward onto state, I am going in with the same mindset that I had for district which is to compete against myself and no one else,” Wilson said. “The only goal I have is to push myself to do the best that I can do and hope that we qualify for the international competition again this year.”
CCHS senior Luke Avritt advances to the state contest in the category of Public Relations Chapter Team event working to bring awareness about suicide and how it affects the local community and the country.  
“It’s all about spreading our message, reaching out to others to help stop suicide,” Avritt said.  “Our chapter is full of hardworking young adults and their efforts were showcased by the number of groups that advanced to state competition.”
More than 8,500 high school students compete in Dallas next month for a place on the Texas DECA team and a trip to the International Career Develop Conference in Orlando, Florida in April.

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