DECA Does It Again: Forging Through Adversity

Adrianne Salas, Staff writer

CTSO competitors

Despite the virus doing everything in its power to deter the team, the Moanalua high school DECA students have persevered and have reaped the rewards at this year’s CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) virtual state competition which took place last week Friday, February 19. Of the 23 participants, fourteen were finalists in the seven categories this year. These seven categories consisted of:

  • Sports and Entertainment (Team)
  • Travel and Tourism (Team)
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing Communications
  • Retail Merchandising
  • Quick Serve
  • Business Services


Each participant had to prepare a role play response accordingly to the situation of their category environment given to them. They were scored on these role plays and a written exam, which consisted of one hundred multiple choice questions related to their category.

“It was very different because now we had to prepare for technological and communication issues” regarding competing virtually said Moanalua DECA President, Seolbin Hong. Hong placed first in the Human Resource Management category.

“I think they tried to recreate the virtual competition as similarly to the real-life competition in terms of the activities…but the feel was definitely different. ” I had to adjust to engaging with the judges through the screen.” said senior Alyssa Bersamin, who placed second in the Marketing Communications category.

Taking this adversity as a lesson, Kendelle Hung-Ino, who placed first in the Retail and Merchandising category says, “this year’s competition was especially beneficial because it taught us that we need to be flexible in the new ‘virtual’ world and that regardless of the situation we need to give it our best efforts.”

“It was definitely a different experience being virtual, stressful. In-person it’s much easier for a student to gauge the judge and itʻs definitely more fun for students to stay at the Ala Moana Hotel and compete at the Convention Center. Regardless, Moanalua students overcame the tech issues and did very well.” said Moanalua DECA Advisor Joelle Kramer.

In the name of forging through adversity, the fourteen finalists will go on to represent Hawai’i at the DECA ICDC (International Career Development Conference) in April.

Final Results