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ICDC Reflection by Raven Owens, Oklahoma DECA VP of Leadership 

I have been in DECA for three years now and I can easily say that this organization is the greatest thing that I have had the privilege of being part of. From chapter meetings to community events to competitions, every single aspect of DECA gets me excited for the future. Despite not being able to go to ICDC in person these last two years, I was still beyond excited at the prospect of getting to go. And despite being worried about the overall cost of the trip at first, I was so privileged and grateful to have earned the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation travel scholarship. This allowed me to attend DECA ICDC this year without having to worry about any costs. ICDC allowed me to meet all new types of people – people from different states, different countries, different ethnicities, etc. I really had my eyes opened to the deeper purpose of DECA. While DECA is a business program designed to prepare students for their future careers through competition and classes, it also prepares us by exposing me to new kinds of people and helping me to comfortably interact with people who aren’t like me. ICDC really just strengthened my love and passion for DECA. From being able to stay in a hotel with Washington and Georgia DECA to serving as a voting delegate for the High School Division Officer team to exploring downtown Atlanta with my best friends, it’s safe to say that I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life.