Unique opportunity drives student's dream career

What is the value of education? That question could be answered several ways. One person might point to the federal or state funding given to schools while another might use the salaries graduates earn in their careers. But perhaps the most important measure is the impact on students’ lives through teachers, clubs and trade skills learned. Thanks to Rowlett High School, Class of 2017 graduate Nadia Andu will soon pursue a newfound career path.

Moving to the area before her senior year, Andu always thought she would continue the family tradition of studying medicine. She planned to go to college and knew how important a well-rounded resume was to the admission process. But she did not have any clubs or associations to include. Andu came to RHS from private and charter schools where she did not have the opportunity to join these kinds of groups. At Rowlett, Andu chose DECA from the school’s numerous offerings. Little did she know, that decision would change her life.

“Joining DECA helped me see what I was good at and impacted what I want to do in the future,” she said. “I’ve always thought about business, and having a business or nonprofit, but I didn’t know how to get into that and didn’t know much about it."

DECA is a student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Andu’s participation not only gave her the inspiration to start a nonprofit that helps inner-city children but international acclaim, as well.

Annual DECA competitions test members’ knowledge and skill. This spring, Andu reigned supreme at district and state contests in the Quick Service Restaurant Management category. She advanced to international competition in April where she was challenged to manage and market hypothetical business initiatives.  

This real-world experience will no doubt prove invaluable as Andu works toward her new dream. But quality instruction from RHS teacher and DECA advisor Larry Wilson, as well as the opportunity to join more than 200 Career and Technical Education classes and clubs, can also be credited in part with her future success.

In Garland ISD, the value of education is priceless, and its impact can be seen across the globe. What’s your #ChooseGarlandISD story?