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WAKE FOREST — A pair of Wake Forest High School seniors will head to Orlando, Florida, next month to compete against some of the brightest minds in the world as part of DECA’s High School International Career Development Conference.
Krystian Serwinski and Trevor Molin earned the right to compete in the prestigious competition after capturing district and state trophies in their category for their marketing project they created for their DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) business club at the school.
Their marketing project centers on downtown Wake Forest, specifically “Downtown Dollars,” which is a giftcard-like currency that can be spent downtown, a holiday attraction to take pictures in front of, and a future mural and street art.
Serwinski and Molin worked in conjunction with several town leaders throughout the process for guidance, including Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones and Lisa Hayes, Wake Forest Downtown Inc.’s development director.
Serwinski said Kristi Walker, Wake Forest High School’s DECA advisor, was also a “big part” of helping he and Molin map out the project.
Serwinski added he and Molin have been working on developing the idea for the project since last summer with their sights set on winning the district and state creative marketing category.
After earning the district trophy in Raleigh, Serwinski and Molin earlier this month showcased their business acumen in Greensboro, where they competed against thousands of students. The pair earned first place in the state in their category, and now their focus is on Orlando.
The DECA international conference will be held from April 27-30 and features over 19,000 students from 18 countries and more than 1,000 business professionals serving as expert judges.
Serwinski said he and Molin know they have a tough task ahead of them but that they are looking forward to the challenge.
“I think we both know it’s going to be really competitive, we’re going out there with so many intelligent kids competing,” Serwinski said. “But I think we definitely expect to do well. We’ve worked super hard on our project throughout the year and we’re pretty confident in it.”
While in Orlando, Serwinski and Molin will attend workshops and conferences with their high school in addition to having the chance to explore the city. Then, as part of the competition, they will turn in a 20-page paper detailing their project before conducting a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation in front of a judge. Their project will be graded on both.
Serwinski said Wake Forest DECA clubs have done well in the past, but none have been able to claim the international trophy — yet.
“I don’t think our club has ever gotten a trophy at internationals before,” he said. “We’ve had a couple finalists through the years but I don’t think we’ve every placed. I think that’s a goal of ours — bring a trophy home.”