For the past few years, Mountain Ridge High School, 22800 N. 67th Ave., Glendale, has sent their own dedicated DECA members to run and hold a DECA state officer position. Now, for the fifth year in a row, Ridge DECA will send another student to represent our chapter: junior Liam Nelson.
Liam has been a proud member of DECA for the past three years, and has had a phenomenal overall experience. Stepping onto the Ridge campus his freshman year posed as a challenge because many of his friends at his former school were dividing up onto other campuses. Despite this challenge, Liam states that one of his favorite parts about being in DECA was the large group of students he was able to connect with. Within his first year, he not only managed to immerse himself into a new group, but also take second place overall in their state conference.
“Being able to learn, what I did through DECA, and professional experience, as well as making friends has definitely been a great experience for the past three years,” Liam said.
His inspiration to run derived from Ridge’s history of sending students to represent in office and because of the passion he saw each candidate put into their campaign and into DECA overall.
“I would see them speak and they always spoke with passion and power and that was something that I wanted to do, in addition to helping connect Arizona DECA members together and try to introduce new programs,” he said.
Any junior member of DECA is free to run for an officer position. Applications are taken between October and December, and there is an interview process that follows in January. After campaigning at the state competition in February, candidates are narrowed down and selected.
There are nine districts total, each given one officer to represent them. Other requirements for candidates include attending a few different conferences, maintaining a GPA minimum of 2.5.
Editor’s note: Emma Padelford writes for The Ridge Review, Mountain Ridge High School’s student news site.