Lynbrook DECA and Amory Gao reach new heights


Priyanka Anand, Web Editor

Along with winning many awards at the State Career Development Conference (SCDC) this year, Lynbrook DECA had a student chosen to be a state officer for the first time in seven years. Sophomore Amory Gao, the club’s current Director of Principles, was appointed as Vice President of Leadership for all of California DECA. With Gao’s new role and the club’s successful run at both SCDC in March and the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in April, the club is looking to end the year on a high note.

At the beginning of the year, the club began with approximately 180 members, all working toward the goal of competing at the Silicon Valley Career Development Conference (SVCDC), SCDC and ICDC. It was around this time when Gao also became aware of the opportunity to become a DECA state officer. To apply, Gao had to create a 30-second campaign video and also campaign during the entirety of SCDC. Bradley Fulk, the club’s advisor, was instrumental throughout the campaign process.

“I worked with [Amory] a lot, whether it was coaching tips or tweaks,” Fulk said. “Though the work was really on her, I was there to help her refine a lot of the work, especially during the interview and resume processes. I was really excited that she won, as we had put in a lot of work, and she definitely deserved that position.”

When deciding to apply to become a state officer, Gao was especially attracted to the opportunity to meet and collaborate with fellow high school DECA members from all over the state to make California DECA increasingly successful.

“All the people I ran against were extremely supportive and are the nicest DECA members I have ever met,” Gao said. “I am really honored to be the voice of so many DECA members across the state, and excited to have new experiences with them.”

During Gao’s term as a state officer, which began in March 2019 and will end in March 2020, she hopes to make a positive impact on California DECA. She looks forward to having monthly video call meetings with her fellow state officer, serving as a student liaison to the adult coordinators and managers of DECA and determining how to improve high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. She is also excited to carry out the specific projects that her role as Vice President of Leadership entails.

“My job is to try to stimulate and promote non-competitive aspects of DECA,” Gao said. “I’m excited to expand on those aspects of DECA, through leadership academies and workshops, to reinforce that DECA is about much more than competition — it is a whole experience designed to prepare kids for the real world.”

While Gao was transitioning into her role as state officer, many members of Lynbrook DECA were also preparing to compete at the international level. ICDC, which was in Orlando, Florida, from April 27 to 30, proved to be very successful for the 50 Lynbrook students who competed. Lynbrook DECA won several awards, competing against students from countries around the world, such as Canada, China and Spain. Lynbrook students participated in events ranging from Financial Consulting to Human Resources Management. For the past year, the club’s officers have worked  hard to help members succeed competitively.

“We have study sessions that focus on both role-plays and written events, the two categories of events at competitions,” said the co-presidents of Lynbrook DECA, senior Abinaya Srikant and junior Cindy Xu. “We split up into smaller clusters that are more specific to the subject of event that the members are doing. Cluster captains help with different strategies and content that will help the members succeed. We try to balance both individual attention and lectures during study sessions, so all the members feel well-prepared.”

Besides the competitive events at the ICDC, there were other activities that students could take part in. Some of the events included business-related workshops, a 5K run, visits to amusement parks and collectible pin trading with DECA members from around the world.

Before the school year ends, club members are looking forward to the Incubator, set to take place on May 24. The Incubator is an entrepreneurship event open to all Lynbrook students who can pitch business ideas, with the best ideas winning prizes.

As a fulfilling and successful competitive season comes to an end for the club, Lynbrook DECA officers and members are looking forward to celebrating the various individual and club achievements this year, as well as preparing for an even more successful season next year. The year-end banquet will be an opportunity for the club to reflect on the past year and look to begin next year, as the new officer team will be announced. Through the banquet, the club hopes to end the year on a positive and fun note, celebrating the many achievements at all the conferences as well as Gao’s new role as Calif. State Officer.