Skip to main content


Newport Harbor High School Students Place Top 10 at International Career Development Conference
Posted 6/13/19



(L-R) Alex Ocampo, Rodrigo Lozano, Morgan Burton, Katelin Ayayo, Kevin Hernandez

Newport Harbor High School (NHHS) students involved in the Career Technical Student Organization, known as DECA, and students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program achieved great success at their first DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC), securing ninth place in the Start Up Business Plan category.

Rodrigo and Kevin

(L-R) Rodrigo Lozano, Kevin Hernandez

Students Kevin Hernandez and Rodrigo Lozano demonstrated their college and career ready knowledge by participating in the industry-validated competitive events program at ICDC, where business professionals served as judges. Their business plan for Simple Straws placed ninth in a competition of more than 175 teams.

“While ninth place might not initially sound impressive, this is a huge achievement for our students, having been the first time they even qualified to attend the prestigious competition,” said Dr. Boulton, NHHS principal.

To qualify for ICDC, students must place top three at the DECA State Conference in one of the 25 competition categories. NHHS students placed third in the Start Up Business Plan category, therefore allowing them an invitation to the ICDC conference. As part of this placement, students developed and presented a comprehensive business proposal for Simple Straws, a stainless steel collapsible, reusable, eco-friendly straw designed to solve the issue of single use plastic straws in landfills and oceans.

More than 22,000 high school students, teacher-advisors, and business professionals participate in ICDC. The conference supports education initiatives that are aligned to state and national standards and include:

  • Career clusters

  • Skills in the areas of marketing, finance, hospitality, management and entrepreneurship

  • Project-based Learning

  • Personal financial literacy

Students also took part in the emerging leader series, where they attained skills in the areas of collaboration and teamwork, communication, critical thinking and problem solving and creativity.