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Jemison High School DECA having successful year

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

Jemison High School’s DECA club has had a very active year and its largest membership ever. The chapter has members who are Alabama DECA representatives, national competitors and members of “The Ultimate Chapter.”

The 137 members of JHS DECA partnered with Bertolone Italian Café in Clanton to sell dinner plates to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The fundraiser raised $3,200, enough to send four children affected by neuromuscular disease to MDA Summer Camp.

The JHS DECA chapter has been the top Alabama DECA MDA fundraiser for the past two years.

“One of the main things they’re learning is leadership,” JHS DECA Advisor Sandra Cullen said. “I’m very, very proud of this chapter this year. They’ve done an excellent job and they’ve worked hard.”

This year, the JHS chapter earned three seats in the Thrive Academy at the national conference in Anaheim, California. The academy is also known as “The Ultimate Chapter.”

Candace Williams and Jasmine Martin will participate in Thrive Academy, according to Cullen. Seats for the academy are earned through an increase of 20 percent in membership numbers in one year for the chapter.

Cullen said the students worked hard to earn this opportunity. The club recruited members at the school’s student organization day at the beginning of the year.

The JHS chapter has two DECA state officers who will represent Alabama DECA. Charlsie Murphy is the new vice-president and Madison Gay is the District 4 vice-president.

“We have many opportunities within this organization,” Gay said. “We have such a family incorporation here … we love to be together.”

“I’m so excited about this year. I’ve learned that you just have to keep going,” Murphy said. “It makes you stronger being in charge. It makes you feel that you have to do good for others.”

Williams, Brianna Powell, Courtney Higgins, Osiris Galindo, and Maria Morales were named recipients of the 2017 DECA Emerging Leader Honor Award, which is earned with a 3.2 or higher GPA for each high school semester and by exhibiting academic preparation, community-mindedness, professional responsibility and leadership.

The club also brought home 15 trophies from the state DECA Career Development Conference. The winners were Murphy, Powell, Higgins, Morales, Galindo, Gay, Hannah Northcutt, Kevin Ramirez, Ashley Porter, Gabe Wilson, Madeline Collins, Bailey Jones, Justin Macks, Haley Moore and Callie Morris.