Ryleigh Tillotson of Northampton named 2023 DECA Scholar by Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association

CAMP HILL, PA — The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) chose Ryleigh Tillotson, a Northampton High School Senior, as the recipient of a $1,000 Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Scholarship. 

Tillotson has been a member of DECA for 4 years and credits her involvement in the club for shaping her career aspirations. She has taken advantage of countless opportunities to advance her business knowledge to prepare her for both her future collegiate and professional careers that she will be pursuing.  

“We are delighted to award this scholarship to such a dedicated and hardworking student like Miss. Tillotson,” said Alex Baloga, president, and CEO of PFMA. “We are proud to see DECA introducing our youth to career fields that they might not have discovered otherwise. We know Miss. Tillotson has a bright future ahead of her and we wish her luck as she embarks on the next chapter of her educational career.” 

Tillotson joined DECA as a freshman and quickly became involved in competitions at the district level where she placed 2nd in Business Services Marketing Series and state level, where she clinched the 1st spot two years in a row in the Integrated Marketing Campaign Products competition. As a DECA member, Tillotson has helped facilitate and grow her DECA chapter by using the plan of action, participating in career outreach events, organizing club meetings, and helping to raise money through fundraisers. Her strong leadership skills led her to become the Vice President of Marketing during her Junior year. She then rose to the ranks of Chapter President as a Senior.  “This club [DECA] has provided me with countless opportunities to expand my business knowledge,” Tillotson wrote in her scholarship statement. “With this knowledge, I feel better prepared for what lies ahead.”

In addition to DECA, Tillotson has an impressive resume of extracurricular and community involvement including several leadership roles. Tillotson has been a varsity sideline and competitive cheerleader throughout her high school career. And, as a Senior, she is the captain of both varsity cheer squads. She is also a Junior Town Council Member, active in Biology Club, French club, and Honor Society. 

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. PFMA sponsors a DECA scholarship each year.

About PFMA

The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, a statewide trade association, advocates the views of nearly 800 convenience stores, supermarkets, independent grocers, wholesalers and consumer product vendors. PFMA members operate more than 4,000 stores and employ more than 250,000 Pennsylvanians. For more information on PFMA, visit pfma.org.