Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Seven Central DECA members qualify for national competition

Seniors+Athena+Chen+%28left%29+and+Anjali+Shah+%28right%29+pose+for+a+photo+at+DECAs+state+conference+on+Feb.+29.
Photo Courtesy of Anjali Shah
Seniors Athena Chen (left) and Anjali Shah (right) pose for a photo at DECA’s state conference on Feb. 29.

Naperville Central’s DECA chapter competed at their state competition, the Illinois Career Development Conference (ILCDC) from February 29 to March 2 in Rosemont. The group walked away with 40 top-ten finishes. Seven members across nine events qualified for the organization’s national competition, the International Career Development Conference (ICDC).

Senior Anjali Shah, the chapter’s President, placed first in Food Marketing Series. Other top-five finishers include senior Athena Chen, juniors Anay Apte, Bavya Chowdavarapu, Zaid Hasan and Aryan Pradhan and Sophomore Hiba Hasan. Additionally, Shah and Chen earned scholarships from the Illinois Foundation for Marketing Education. 

This year was an especially competitive year at ILCDC, with an increased number of students competing. 

“Competition was good, but it was really competitive this year, with like 1,800 kids,” said junior Paul Van Der Vorst, who serves as Vice President of Membership for Central’s chapter.

For Shah, a first-place finish brought a feeling of validation and growth. 

“It’s the first time I’ve gotten first,” Shah said. “Last year I got sixth and the year before I got third, so it kind of shows the progression. I’m really excited. I put a lot of work into it, and I’m really happy that the fruits of my labor are really worked out.”

While ILCDC brought the year to an end for most members of Central’s DECA chapter, the group will send four of their seven qualifying members to the organization’s national competition, ICDC.

“Nationals is gonna look intense,” Van Der Vorst said. “[This] is their biggest nationals ever, with twenty-something thousand kids.”

Central’s competitors at ICDC will include Pradhan, Apte, Chowdavarapu and Van Der Vorst. The group will travel to Anaheim, California for competition from April 27 to 30.

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About the Contributor
Nolan Shen
Nolan Shen, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Nolan is a senior, entering his third year on staff. He is excited to be heading the Arts and Entertainment section this year. When not writing for CT, he can be found playing with the Marching Redhawks Drumline, performing in the Naperville Youth Symphony, eating too much McDonald’s, and watching bad sci-fi movies. Next year, he plans on going to college to study political science and hopefully not flunk out.
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