DECA Idea Challenge Finalists

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South High DECA winners, from left: Josephine Zheng, Haley Raphael, Parker Spector-Salwen and Shrinath Viswanathan with their award-winning cardboard shoe on top of the books in front of Spector-Salwen
South High DECA winners, from left: Josephine Zheng, Haley Raphael, Parker Spector-Salwen and Shrinath Viswanathan with their award-winning cardboard shoe on top of the books in front of Spector-Salwen

Four Great Neck South High School DECA members, Haley Raphael, Parker Spector-Salwen, Shrinath Viswanathan and Josephine Zheng, are finalists in the international DECA Idea Challenge 2015, High School Category, representing the United States.

Sheryl Demetres, DECA cofaculty sponsor/business teacher, explained that in addition to the regular DECA events that students participate in throughout the year, DECA also holds special events, such as the Idea Challenge.

“Students were asked to take an everyday item, in this case, cardboard boxes, and create something for public use,” said Demetres. “Students needed to make and upload a three-minute YouTube video about their project. Finalists were chosen based on the video and their project idea.” The video may be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9pv8f3Cmjc.

Working as a team, the student entrepreneurs designed and constructed a waterproof shoe out of recycled cardboard, which they called Cardboard Walks. In their video, students explain that their shoes could combat some health issues associated with lack of shoes, such as the parasite hookworm, and the environmental impacts of cardboard decomposing into methane gas in landfills.

Business teacher Rick Vine is also a DECA cofaculty sponsor.

The Idea Challenge attracted 2,230 team submissions worldwide. Previously known as Distributive Education Clubs of America, DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

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