A group of 40 students from the Carbon Career and Technical Institute traveled to Hershey recently to experience two days of intense competition at the annual DECA state competition. Delta Epsilon Chi (DECA) is an international association of high school and college students studying marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality and marketing sales and service.

A number of students from CCTI were recognized for outstanding performance. Stephanie Blum of Panther Valley won the "Program of Work" award for the chapter. Larrissa Stallone of Weatherly was recognized for earning the Gold level in the "Chapter Membership" program. Larissa will be recognized on stage at the International Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, this April. Daequanna Mathis of Panther Valley and CCTI DECA Chapter President won a PA DECA scholarship for outstanding achievement.

During the event, eight students from CCTI earned the right to compete at the upcoming International Conference in Louisville, April 24-27. These students will compete with 16,000 students from across the country, Canada, Germany and Guam.

Nicole Henry and Kristin Hickman, both of Palmerton won 4th place in the Hospitality Marketing Team decision making event. Larissa Stallone of Weatherly won third place in the Fashion Promotion Plan Event. Cathy Cordery of Palmerton and Stephanie Macaluso of Jim Thorpe won third place in the Community Service Project. Daequanna Mathis and Stephanie Blum, both of Panther Valley, and Courtney Koch of Lehighton won 2nd place in the Chapter Awards Program.

"This was an exciting and rewarding night for our members," said Stephanie Barto, CCTI Marketing/D.E. Instructor and DECA Advisor.

In all, CCTI DECA students earned 54 medals. The following students came home with awards:

Fallon Hill of Panther Valley won 5th place in Job Interview. Jeff Rider of Jim Thorpe won three medals and Cody Silfies of Palmerton won two medals in Auto Service Marketing. Kristy Rodgers of Jim Thorpe won three medals and Daequanna Mathis of Panther Valley won one medal in Apparel and Apparel Accessories Marketing. Tiffany Ruch and Trisha Ruch, both of Palmerton, won two medals as a Financial Analysis Team. Andrew Salazar of Jim Thorpe won three medals in Business Services Marketing. Brandon Zach of Jim Thorpe won two medals and Bree-Anne Desposito, also of Jim Thorpe, won one medal in Principals Of Marketing. Tasha Bender and Maggie Haywood, both of Jim Thorpe, won two medals as a team competing in the Travel and Tourism Team Event. Benonia Bruce of Panther Valley won two medals in Principals of Hospitality. Steph Blum of Panther Valley and Courtney Koch of Lehighton both won two medals as a team in the Buying and Merchandising Team Event. Michelle Gonzalez of Panther Valley won one medal in Quick Serve Restaurant Management. Ashley Hahn of Palmerton won one medal in Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Saige Hanchurick of Weatherly, Chelsea Strubeck of Lehighton, Nicole Henry of Palmerton and Kristen Hickman of Palmerton all won two medals as the Hospitality Services Team. Timmy Holderman of Lehighton won three medals in Accounting. Gabbi Hunsicker of Jim Thorpe won three medals and Melissa Macaluso, also of Jim Thorpe won one medal in Food Marketing. Christine Jumet of Jim Thorpe, Nathan Mack of Panther Valley and Felicia Smith of Lehighton each won one medal in Retail Merchandising. John Klingle of Lehighton won two medals in Restaurant and Food Service Mgmt. Connie Palmer of Palmerton won one medal and Brandon Poole of Panther Valley won three medals in Marketing Management.

In other CCTI news, the school hosted its Career Expo at The Jim Thorpe High School earlier this month. The event featured each of the school's technical areas, academics and student organizations that are available to the students of Carbon County.

The Marketing students each chose a non-profit organization to represent. They were required to research their organization, contact the group for information and materials, and then create their own promotional materials. The highlight was for each student to create a fundraiser to help raise funds for their organization.

Students put a lot of time and hard work into their various organizations. Collectively, the students raised over $250 for these groups. The highlight of the evening was the prom fashion show which benefited the American Cancer Society.