$6,500 grant to help St. Amant High students $6,500 grant to help St. Amant High students Photo provided by Rae Broussard -- Gathering at the DECA state conference's recent awards banquet are members of the St. Amant High School DECA, first row from left, Advisor Allison Leake, Clayton Villemarette, Ambar Hicks, Julie Breaux, Chris Kelley, Kase Savoy, Elise Normand, Kaitlyn Biri and Advisor Rae Broussard; second row, Sage Kling, Raylie Bourgeois, LeeAmber Perry, Olivia Dichary, Nicole Joyeaux, Brittany Dearmond, Jade Sheets, Kristy Peabody, Peyton Monte, Holden Prejean, Logan Ganaway and Chez Babin; and third row, Michael Minvielle, Mytrail Whitehead, Dylan Tucker, Amber Bartell, Matt Sperandeo, Scout Savoy, Terry Folks. Advocate staff report March 06, 2013 Comments St. Amant High School Career and Technical teacher Rae Broussard received a $6,500 grant from the Marketing Eduction Retail Alliance to host a career day event, provide free vouchers for students to attend customer service training and testing, and offer free OSHA training and certification for seniors. The MERA grant provided materials and equipment for students to improve in customer service marketing activities, Broussard said. “The students then apply what they learn in role-play work scenarios that carry over into real-life experiences in their workplaces,” she said. So far St. Amant has 37 customer service certified students from the fall semester. Upon completion of the training, students take the National Customer Service Examination. Students who pass the National Retail Federation Customer Service test earn an industry-based certification, she said, which is one of the requirements of a Career and Technical Diploma Endorsement. This school year’s MERA grant allowed marketing education program students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom at the Distributive Education Clubs of America’s Hornets Sports and Entertainment Marketing Conference, Fall Competitive Excellence Conference, and the DECA Career Development Conference. At the CDC, students competed in various marketing-related events. Representing St. Amant High were Louisiana DECA State President Clayton Villemarette, Ambar Hicks, Julie Breaux, Chris Kelley, Kase Savoy, Elise Normand, Kaitlyn Biri, Sage Kling, Raylie Bourgeois, LeeAmber Perry, Olivia Dichary, Nicole Joyeaux, Brittany Dearmond, Jade Sheets, Kristy Peabody, Peyton Monte, Holden Prejean, Logan Ganaway, Chez Babin, Michael Minvielle, Mytrail Whitehead, Dylan Tucker, Amber Bartell, Matt Sperandeo, Scout Savoy and Terry “T.J.” Folks. Seventeen students places in 22 events. Picking up first-place honors were Normand, Kase Savoy, Kelley and Perry. Winning the $500 scholarship to Johnson and Wales University were Normand, Scout Savoy, Kelley and Sperandeo. Grant funding was also used for OSHA training and certification of students. MERA is also funding St. Amant High School’s Career and College Day for Seniors on March 21. Seniors will have the chance to talk to colleges to learn more about their options and hear presentations from and get to network with business professionals. Marketing Education Retail Alliance was created in 2000 and is administered by the Louisiana Retailers Association. MERA grants are funded through the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.