Vice President of Leadership Development
Darshan Kommanapalli is a senior and four-year DECA member from Glenbrook North High School. He is both excited and grateful to serve on the 2022-23 IL State Action Team as your VP of Leadership Development. He joined DECA without much direction in the areas of business and economics, but his competitive experiences helped him sharpen his focus in interdisciplinary fields.
As a member in his freshman year, Darshan was unaware of everything DECA could offer. The pandemic prevented him from competing in the Independent Business Plan, but he followed through with it his sophomore year. During his junior year, Darshan took a more hands-on role in his school’s DECA chapter by becoming the VP of Education. He also won at State in Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling and Retail Merchandising, going on to compete at ICDC and walking the stage for his performance in testing and 1st place win in the DECA MDA Challenge. From late night bus rides to team dinners, he cherishes the moments DECA has given him throughout high school. This year, as his chapter’s president, he is primed to boost collaboration and participation and make DECA a more memorable experience for all!
The two most important elements of DECA that Darshan values are networking and professionalism. Darshan is still in touch with DECA members around the nation from those he met at ICDC and enjoys arguing with them over sports and music. Additionally, DECA has established a sense of confidence and diligence in him that has proved valuable and empowering in real-world professional environments, and he is ready to strengthen these elements on the State Action Team.
Outside of DECA, Darshan’s academic interests branch off to three main areas: math, economics, and biology. Math has always been a passion to him, and he challenged himself last year by using the virtual opportunities of the pandemic to complete advanced math courses through Stanford. However, DECA showed him just how important economics is to the world and his community, so he combined math and economics by currently taking an Econometrics course at the nearby Northwestern University. Darshan adds biology to the mix as a math-based bioinformatics researcher at a lab at Northwestern with an end goal of simplifying drug delivery and reducing healthcare disparities.
Within his school, Darshan expands his interests as a co-President of Math Team and Science Club and a competitor on Academic Bowl. He is also an avid runner on his school’s Track team and loves to play soccer with his friends. He finds just enough free time to watch the latest episode of Better Call Saul.
Darshan is eager to continue DECA’s inclusive and spirited program while providing new opportunities for engagement and fun. He is always open to hearing your ideas so he can work to improve your experience. With his fellow officers, he will promote the longevity of DECA so it remains something you remember and value for years to come.