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Crater students head to international event

Club members will show off their business acumen in Atlanta competition

Now that they have shown their business acumen at the state level, 11 students from the Crater School of Business, Innovation and Science in Central Point will face off with their peers from all over the world in an Atlanta-based competition later this month.

The students, which include senior Lillian Young, will go to the International Career Development Conference, scheduled for April 23-26, fresh off of a similar event held in Portland for students from all over Oregon.

“I’m really excited and proud of my teammates,” said Young, a two-time state champion in marketing communications. “We had such a great time at state in February, and just watching them do so well I am really looking forward to going to ICDC with them. (We will) experience something new and hopefully bring home some DECA glass together.”

Mike Rogan, a Crater School of Business, Innovation and Science instructor who organized Crater’s Distributive Education Clubs of America group almost 25 years ago, applauded his students advancing to the international competition.

“I’m incredibly proud of this group of students,” Rogan said. “This group has truly worked harder, practiced more often and committed more time to their success than any group I’ve had.”

According to a conference program booklet provided online by DECA, the annual international conference brings 20,000 people — 14,000 of whom are high school students.

“It’s going to be a lot of people and it is going to be intimidating,” Young said, “but we’re putting in the work and we know that we can compete well.”

The conference includes competitions in marketing, finance, hospitality, management and entrepreneurship. Specific types of competitions students can be judged on include marketing campaign events; professional selling and business operation

Young believes the students competing at their “personal best” doesn’t come without a lot of practice in the Central Point School District 6 classroom.

“We learn real-world, professional skills. We are challenged to become more creative problem-solvers (and) present confidently,” she said.

Win or lose, Young said, the conference will be an opportunity to compete in-person, which she and her teammates haven’t been able to do because of the pandemic.

“Getting to go with each other is a real gift,” Young said.

She added that while in Atlanta, as serious as the conference may be, team members will encourage each other “not to be over-serious.”

“Just going with the mindset of enjoying each other’s company is really, really important, too,” Young said.

Reach reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or kopsahl@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.