Return to Headlines

West Ashley High junior named State DECA President

Dahlia Abedel-dayem named the next State DECA President at the 2021 SC DECA Career Conference

Charleston, SC – West Ashley High School junior Dahlia Abedel-dayem recently assumed the role of State DECA president at the 2021 SC DECA State Career Conference. As president, Abedel-dayem will now work with leaders from other schools to help build future leaders and inspire her classmates. This marks the first time in school history that a student will serve in this role.

DECA, founded in 1946, is designed to help students become leaders in the business world by teaching them about marketing, hospitality and management, finance, and entrepreneurship.

Students compete through role-play scenarios where they are given a situation and have to tell how they would solve it using what the skills they have learned. Industry professionals from the area serve as judges.

Abedel-dayem had to submit an application where she wrote an essay and collected letters of recommendation for the job at hand (which originally was the vice president of marketing).

Next was the interview, which went so well that she was told by the panel of judges, made up of state advisors and a former DECA president, that they were so impressed that she would actually be running for president. The final step in the process was a test on the history of DECA before delegates of each chapter took a majority vote.

“When I found out I was President I was super calm actually,” said Abedel-dayem. “Obviously I was excited, but it wasn't until [former WAHS DECA President] Kimberly McCurdy, sent me the sweetest congratulations message that I fully grasped the extent of this accomplishment. This means everything to me so it is comforting to know that the SC DECA advisors and members have faith in my ability to lead them. It means that I can now make sure members get the absolute most out of their DECA experience just as I did. It means making my advisor, family, and friends proud."

What started out as a little extra bump on her resume has turned into something about which she is truly passionate. Abedel-dayem credits her DECA advisor, Terry Stutts, for getting her involved and starting her on this journey.

The more she got involved, the more she enjoyed helping others, working to solve issues through problem solving, and looking for opportunities to give back to her DECA chapter, her community, and her school.

During the 2020 - 2021 school year, Abedel-dayem served as the executive vice president in charge of running the DECA chapter’s social media, judging practice role-plays, participating in community service events, and helping where needed. Next year will be an entirely new ball game.

As State DECA president, she will guide the state association through her leadership and knowledge of DECA and what is expected of each chapter.

Abedel-dayem will be responsible for the public relations aspect and serve as a representative for the SC DECA program at all times. The president is expected to work with the state officers to ensure that all projects taken on are done to the best of their ability.

While this accomplishment means a lot for Abedel-dayem’s future, it means a lot for the DECA chapter at West Ashley High as well. “First, it is an impressive achievement for Dahlia and it represents the hard work, determination and growth she's shown over her first three years in high school,” said Stutts. “In addition to that, I believe it will be a signal to our students that they too can achieve at a high level. I think it sets a new level of expectation when the SC DECA State President is in the room with freshmen recruiting them to join DECA. After all, she is one of them!”

Next up, Abedel-dayem will attend leadership training in June with the rest of the State officer team. While she can no longer hold an officer position at the school level (holding both a State and Chapter position is considered a conflict of interest), she plans to assist her chapter in any way that she can as they continue to help those around them and build leaders for tomorrow. 

For more information, please contact WAHS Public Relations Director Donnie Newton at (843) 852-2516.