Eight students from Grand Island High School will depart at dawn Friday morning for Orlando to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference.
Gabby Bergstrom (newly elected president of New York State DECA), Luke Hess, Lauren Merletti, Emily Cohen, Kaylee Butcher, Melina Aceti, Bridget Neeson and Christian Whetham will leave April 26 and return May 1.
GIHS business teacher and DECA adviser Cheryl Chamberlain is leading the way along with Jude Casey Kuehne.
Opening ceremonies are Saturday with students competing in business and marketing competitions Sunday and Monday. Students who qualify for finals compete Tuesday.
“These kids mean business,” Chamberlain said before departing.
The group includes Bergstrom, the first-ever New York DECA president elected from Grand Island, and Hess and Merletti, who own Casey’s Cabana in Ferry Village. They earned a first-place win at the DECA state competition in March for their business plan.
“They are serious. The Cabana kids want it bad!” said Chamberlain, who herself was honored at the state conference with a lifetime achievement award.