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Friday, May 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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DECA students ready to compete

CV students prepare for state DECA match

Central Valley High School DECA members, from left, Lela Cooper, Jamie Machtmes and Abby Rogers on Monday practice their presentation involving a Crosswalk fashion show fundraiser. They are preparing for state competition next week in Bellevue. (Dan Pelle)
Central Valley High School DECA members, from left, Lela Cooper, Jamie Machtmes and Abby Rogers on Monday practice their presentation involving a Crosswalk fashion show fundraiser. They are preparing for state competition next week in Bellevue. (Dan Pelle)

Three teen girls in Central Valley High School’s DECA program are busy preparing for their own version of “Shark Tank.”

Their entrepreneurial idea has already impressed local DECA judges, now Paige Tucker, Kazlyn Roullier and Lauren Williams need to sell Rhythm Radio – an app that syncs music to your heart rate while exercising – at the upcoming state competition.

“When we are presenting it, we are asking for money to create it,” Williams said. The team is confident because “there are apps that take your heart rate, and there are apps, like Pandora, that play music. But there are no apps that do both.”

The teens are among 90 Central Valley School District students headed to the state DECA match during the first weekend in March. They’ll join hundreds throughout the state to vie for a spot in the nationals by making presentations ranging from new inventions to fundraisers.

More than 200,000 high school students across the globe participate in DECA, a program that helps prepare students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, management and entrepreneurship. Students learn by doing monthslong projects for community service projects, participating in competitive events, taking on leadership positions and networking with students and professionals.

“I got involved because my friends are doing it, but I’ve stayed involved because I’ve learned so much,” Williams said. She listed public speaking, preparing presentations of ideas, and knowledge of the business world among her skills.

Roullier emphatically agreed with her DECA partner.

Rhythm Radio stemmed from the teens’ passions. “We really like music, and we are really into sports,” said Williams, who plays tennis and runs cross country. While a person is working out, they can use the app to scan a catalog of music that keeps pace with their workout.

Williams and Roullier’s classmates, Lela Cooper, Abby Rogers and Jamie Machtmes, decided to take on a community service project.

“One of the things that we noticed; out of all the charities around, one that gets overlooked is Crosswalk Teen Shelter,” Cooper said. “So, we wanted to come up with something that could involve the student body while supporting a good cause.”

The project, the “We Can Do It” campaign, featured a fashion show.

“We partnered with local businesses and put on a fashion show to present the latest homecoming fashions for boys and girls,” Cooper said.

There were 20 girl models and 10 boys. KHQ’s Stephanie Vigil emceed the event.

Proceeds from the fashion show ticket sales and raffles amounted to about $1,300, which went Crosswalk, Cooper said.

Afterward, the DECA team set up a Cinderella’s Closet where students could donate their formal attire and accessories. “We donated about 20 dresses to Crosswalk.”

DECA adviser Robin Barnhart said every year students come up with innovative ideas.

“We have 90 going to state out of 214 kids,” she said. “It’s hard to get to state, so I’m really proud of the kids.”

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