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DECA students reach out with projects

RHS students Kristen Farris, left, Stefanie Knight and Jenn Saunders hope to raise a lot of money selling sweatshirts and cocoa mix.

A pair of fundraising projects run by Rosemount High School business students are reaching out to help students both down the hall and halfway around the world.

The projects by DECA students Stefanie Knight, Kristen Farris and and Jenn Saunders are helping RHS students get everything they can out of their DECA experience and helping students in Bosnia get a good science education. And all it's taken is a few sweatshirts and a whole lot of hot chocolate.

All three students will present their projects in DECA competition. The national organization provides business experience and competition for students.

Knight is the one with the hot chocolate. The Mason jars of homemade cocoa mix she's sold the past few weeks have already brought in close to $1,000 to help provide science equipment for a school in Srebrenica, Bosnia. Knight said she chose the project because it gives her a chance to work with sister Sarah Knight, a former RHS DECA student who is currently attending school in Switzerland. The sisters are working through the Webster Humanitarian Fund to provide the equipment.

Knight said she's been giving her sister misinformation so far about how much she's raised -- telling her the sales have only brought in $100 or so -- so she can surprise her when she reaches her $2,000 goal.

"It's kind of exciting working with my sister and seeing how this plays out," Knight said.

Knight and her mother have been making the homemade cocoa mix for years. The mix, which comes in flavors like Whoppers candy, peanut butter cup and Creme de Menthe, is available in two sizes. Making the mix takes a while, but Knight figures it will be worth it.

"If we had a fundraiser, I don't think we'd make $2,000," she said.

So far Knight has relied on word of mouth to sell the jars. She also attended the Rosemount United Methodist Church bazaar last weekend. As of last Friday morning she'd sold 115 jars.


Farris and Saunders are looking to help people a little bit closer to home with their project, kid-sized Rosemount Irish sweatshirts. The profits from their venture will go to help RHS DECA students pay the fees required to compete at the state conference. Farris and Saunders came up with the idea and chose the designs for the sweatshirts. Other DECA students are responsible for selling them. Profits each student earns will go to their DECA accounts.

"DECA kind of gets expensive, so to help with state ... we thought it would be nice to have money in their accounts," Farris said.

Farris and Saunders said they saw a need for the kid-size sweatshirts. Working at the DECA-run school store they heard from a lot of parents looking for Irish sprit-wear for their younger kids.

Order forms for the sweatshirts are due Dec. 3. Farris sand Saunders said sales have gone well.