Albuquerque High graduate gives $10K to DECA program

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque High School’s DECA team recently got a big surprise to help them prepare for some tough competition.

The team learns business and marketing skills and is getting some help from someone who has been in their shoes.

Jack Humbert graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1963. 60 years later, he literally paid a visit to his alma mater.

“I present to you, this check to Albuquerque High School DECA, in the amount of, I’ll let you read it, $10,000,” Humbert said.

Humbert kickstarted the DECA program as an advisor years ago. To the kids, his donation means investing in their future.

“I’m just, amazed? Very amazed!” said Melody Vega Maldonado, the vice president of the DECA team.

“I’m very grateful because that will help us a lot with, like, all the trips, and then the different activities within the chapter,” said David Garcia, a freshman at Albuquerque High.

DECA advisor Ashley Lober says DECA trips can cost up to $2,000 per student. It’s expensive but worthwhile.

“We took 17 students this past April to Orlando, Florida, to compete at an international career development conference. So there were workshops, there were colleges, they’re recruiting and they got to compete with students from all over the world,” Lober said.

They took home the national prize for Chapter of the Year and gold-level certification for their in-school snack bar. The trip was extra sweet for them.

“It’s a very great feeling taking home these awards. It’s like, ‘You did it, you won something over some of the biggest schools in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho,'” Maldonado said.

The students run a fully-functioning business on campus.

“The kids get to manage inventory, higher balance, handle money, get trained in cash, making change, baking skills,” Lober explained.

They also pick up skills they normally wouldn’t learn in their normal core curriculum.

“I feel like I was way more shy before this. Now, I could just like, speak and hopefully be like a leader to people,” Garcia said.

The recent donation will help build future entrepreneurs one student at a time.