The Lightning Letter

The Student News Site of James Lawson High School


The Lightning Letter

The Lightning Letter

Get Involved: DECA, MUN, and More!

Information about student extracurricular activities

As the new school year kicks off at Lawson, here are some academic competitions that welcome students of any grade level. 

One of the competitive events outside of school is Model United Nations (MUN) and Youth in Government (YIG). Both events exercise civic engagement among students. Model UN mirrors the actual operations of the UN and focuses on present worldly problems, and Youth in Government mirrors what the House and Senate do.  

Every year, the delegation of students takes a 3-day trip to Murfreesboro to compete in MUN and a 3-day trip to downtown Nashville for YIG. Despite requiring time and effort in and out of school to prepare for the annual events, all work pays off when students get to show their efforts. 

“This generation is the future. They have to save us,” U.S. History teacher and sponsor for MUN and YIG Alexa Claremont said. 

Another competitive event to participate in is DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America. 

“Joining DECA can help you meet new people and provide you with communicating and critical thinking skills that you can apply throughout your life, not just in business situations,” the 2023-2024 President of the DECA Chapter at Lawson Lawrence Quimbo said.

DECA is an immersive experience for students to experience what professionals in the workforce expect from them in their respective fields of interest, with over 100 competitive events that students can participate in. 

It is an annual event that takes place in downtown Chattanooga, accompanied by fun such as dances and scavenger hunts all around the city. It is a 3-tier competition that starts with the regionals, state, and ultimately, ICDC, the international competition held in California this year. 

“DECA gives you a chance to experience real-life scenarios that everyone would experience no matter what jobs they have,” business CTE teacher and sponsor for DECA Brad Bishop said.                           

Yet another club students can join is Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). It is a competition with over 100 categories of competitions that students can choose to participate in, focusing on the healthcare field. Much like DECA, HOSA is an immersive experience for students as well, with different engaging events taking place in a 4-day trip to Chattanooga. HOSA is also a 3-tier competition that has a national competition in Houston, Texas, this upcoming season. 

“HOSA prepares you for a successful future, not only in your career but for your everyday life. We do fun things and learn; we’re the biggest and best HOSA program in MNPS,” the health science teacher and sponsor for HOSA Lora Hickman said. 

Lastly, another resume-building activity available at Lawson is the Debate Club. While Debate Club was lost in the chaos of Covid, Lawson is bringing back debate with the first debate team going down in the history of Lawson. 

Debate Club is an extracurricular that builds excellent communication skills and public-talking abilities. Although it requires dedicated practice in and out of school and time to participate in competitions hosted by the Nashville Debate League, it is an awarding opportunity when students are recognized for their efforts. 

“Student voices deserve to be heard,” the debate coach and sponsor Amanda Clarke said. 

While sports and in-school clubs may sound more appealing to most students, the competitions listed above help students gain experience in formal fields on a scholarly level. 

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About the Contributor
Grace Chen, Staff Writer
Grace Chen is a senior at James Lawson High School. Grace is a part of many school clubs and academic extracurriculars, and this is her first year in writing news content.  She enjoys designing digital media and visiting niche coffee shops in Nashville. You may spot her in random areas around town, biking, walking, or scooter-ing.
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