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Madam President: Chunduru stepping into role as Texas DECA President

Kayla Nguyen
Coppell High School junior Yashitha Chunduru was announced as president of Texas DECA on Feb. 17. Chunduru has been in DECA since her freshman year and has made an impact both in the club and District 11.

“Think about stargazing on a clear night. The brightest and shiniest star you’ll see is the North Star, the one meant to guide us to our destination. My name is Yashitha Chunduru and I want to be your North Star.”

Those words echoed through the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Feb. 17. They were part of the two-minute speech that secured the role of Texas DECA president for Coppell High School junior Yashitha Chunduru, making her the first in Coppell’s history.

“They announced all five vice presidents and I turned around to [junior executive vice president of marketing Navya Singh] and was thinking ‘I guess there’s still competition awards,” Chunduru said. “I was thinking, ‘Maybe I’ll make it to the International Career Development Conference’ and then they announced my name and I was in complete shock. It definitely didn’t sink in the first moment.”

The honor of receiving this position did not come without hard work. The application process alone consisted of submitting an intent to run, application, agreement forms, interviewing and taking a test.

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“She did so much of this on her own,” CHS DECA sponsor Richard Chamberlain said. “I filled out the required paperwork that she needed to run for both district president and state president but other than that, everything she did herself. It’s very impressive to be able to do that and to have those types of motivations at this age where it’s not necessarily about the grades, but doing it because of her love of DECA.”

Chunduru has been a standout member of DECA as she joined freshman year, and advanced to ICDC within her first year. She has also held numerous positions both within the club and district, serving as the CHS9 president, District 11 president and currently as the CHS DECA president.

“I was a district officer this past year and I liked serving District 11,” Chunduru said. “I knew the state officers from last year, because we would talk whenever we were at conferences, and it just seemed cool. I thought it would be so much cooler if I could try serving Texas instead of just one district within Texas.”

To those who know her, Chunduru receiving this position came as no surprise. She is observed throughout her DECA journey as having a strong work ethic and positive attitude.

“She has a very entrepreneurial mindset,” senior DECA CEO Anveshi Goyal said. “She’s someone who is constantly thinking of creative new ways to accomplish a goal, and that’s really important in business. These great ideas showcase her passion for business because she really cares about the students who also want to gain business experience.”

While many would be deterred by the challenges with applying for and becoming Texas DECA President, Chunduru was ready to take it on from the get-go.

“What I really admire about Yashita is that she is not afraid at all when it comes to trying something, and I think that is very ambitious,” Goyal said. “Running for state officer is something that is scary and obviously very challenging, and for someone like me, I feel like I would really have to mentally prepare myself. She has a lot of confidence in herself, and she doesn’t get scared or back down easily from what everyone else might see as a big challenge.”

Upon the announcement of Chunduru as president during the awards ceremony, Coppell DECA students broke into boisterous applause. Having spent the past three years with Chunduru, many were overjoyed by her success.

“I was more nervous for that announcement than my own event because she worked so hard for it,” Goyal said. “I remember I was shaking and I wanted Yashitha to get it so badly. When they announced her name I was the first one screaming, I was so happy for her.”

Chunduru already has quite a few ideas she hopes to implement in her time as president, including a DECA Hall of Fame and internship network.

“Yashitha is going to do amazing as the new state DECA president,” Goyal said. “I’ve already heard some of her great ideas that I know she wants to implement this following year, but I think there’s a lot of people who are going to be very excited about what she brings to the table and impressed with how much she’s going to accomplish this next year.”

Receiving this position symbolizes the culmination of three years of hard work put in by Chunduru. From the competitions and increased responsibilities to receiving this position on a grander scale, Chunduru can say she has done it all in her time in DECA, and she is still only a junior.

“It means a lot to me because of the fact that Texas DECA members chose me, that’s a big deal,” Chunduru said. “It’s definitely a way to tie it up, and it’s interesting to see from when I was just the CHS9 president and ICDC qualifier. I definitely didn’t think I would rise to Texas DECA president.”

This position not only will boost Chunduru’s standing, but the Coppell DECA chapter’s standing as well.

“It’s going to help a lot in terms of inspiring underclassmen,” Goyal said. “She’s our first from CHS and our first member to become state president. She’s really going to serve as an inspiration and role model for a lot of underclassmen to start pursuing these leadership opportunities. Yashitha has set this new standard and this new kind of level for other Coppell DECA members to strive for and I think that’s really important because people in DECA will start taking CHS a lot more seriously now that we’ve brought such an amazing leader to their team.”

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on March 21, 2024.