DECA fundraisers assist community

Class works with local businesses


Maren Wilsey

The Block restaurant, located on Walker St. near St. Louis Park High School. DECA students worked with The Block to provide student discounts.

Maren Wilsey and Jacob Khabie

When he started his DECA project in partnership with The Block restaurant, freshman Micah Schonberger said he only had one goal in mind.

“Our goal is to just give people a place to go and also get more customers coming into The Block and raise awareness for them because they just opened,” Schonberger said.

Schonberger, along with the rest of the students in the DECA class, recently began working on projects to help improve businesses in their community. According to business teacher Abby Lugo, the sense of camaraderie the project fosters is beneficial to the students. 

“They are doing chapter projects (which) require them to do a fundraiser community awareness event,” Lugo said. “I like that it’s created some cohesiveness and some new friendships in class.”

Sophomore Josh Folwick said his group started with a broad vision, then narrowed it down based on community response. The group worked with MyBurger to collect funds for DECA whenever a customer mentioned them at checkout.

“We always had our mind on restaurants, so we started sending emails out and then a couple people responded,” Folwick said. “MyBurger had the best offer and the best location. All aspects put together were the best that we could do.”

Schonberger’s project involved instating a Park student discount for The Block. Although the goal of the project was to assist a local store, Schonberger said his group decided to go beyond that in their collaboration with the restaurant.

“The assignment just was to help out business and we made the goal of also giving people a place to go,” Schonberger said.

Folwick said the experience was new for the workers at MyBurger as well, but they were very open minded about it.

“They were willing to try it. The employees were all really nice. It was the same people working every day,” Folwick said. “It was a pretty small location, but it was very well organized — everything went together well.”

Lugo said she likes the project because it allows students to apply the skills learned in the class in a real way. 

“I love these projects because it’s putting them in the real world right away,” Lugo said. “They have to be responsible enough to contact the businesses and work with businesses, work with other leaders around the community and actually put into motion things that you do in the classroom.”

Folwick said he was able to learn new skills, including the importance of persistence. 

“I learned some determination. There were times it was cold and I wanted to leave, but some of my group mates said no, we said we’d be here until (a certain) time so we should (stay),” Folwick said. “We had to commit when it got a bit rougher.”

Students can access the discount at The Block until Jan. 30, and look for updates about future DECA projects in the 6425 newsletter.