How does your chapter recruit new members?
Theddis Akins, Jefferson High School DECA, VP of Leadership
Recruiting new members
There are several ways that we as Jefferson DECA, recruit members. Every year, the officer team we will show up at magnet night to inform people of the academy and we have shadows (middle school students), come through the classrooms to get a feeling of the holiday experience.
During the school’s magnet night, we have a trifold board with information about the business academy and DECA. We will also have two of our officers at our designated table for open house, to explain to anyone any of their concerns. During this night, we show the students what they will be doing and take them through what their classes would be like. Our goal is to get as many members as possible, especially incoming freshman.
Our school has shadow days set for at least three days a school year. On these days, the magnet advisors each send at least two upperclassmen to show these shadows around. We will take them into some of the classes, such as Financial Business Computing, Accounting Applications, and Business in a Global Economy. When I first came to Jefferson High School for shadow day, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge on what the business students were being taught, while getting the firsthand experience of DECA. From that moment on, DECA has been the bloodline pumping through my veins.
What are your plans for Advocacy month?
Theddis Akins, Jefferson High School DECA, VP of Leadership.
The concept of Advocacy month was to spread the message of DECA and all the remarkable things we do, a little bit further. Advocacy month is for the month of February, which is also CTE month. Spreading what makes DECA so special to us all through our schools, communities, and public policy makers. Here are our plans to extend the life support of DECA to you.
Booker T. Washington High School DECA
January Chapter Chatter
Officer: President Diondre Treakle
Advocacy is the act of public support or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. February is Advocacy Month and our chapters most active month of the year. Our chapter is preparing our students for the annual CDC Competition in March. Along with February being our biggest competition prep month it’s as well Black History Month. Every year Booker T. Washington High School holds a Black History Month Assembly to not only raise the moral of African Americans but to bring unity to all races with in our community. This assembly is a collaboration production of all the clubs and organizations in the school. Our clubs work collectively to ensure the utmost positive production. Our chapters participation with this production consist of diligently composing a systems management for the layout of the assembly. From the establishment of the begin time to the end time, exit route in terms of emergencies, the seating chart, and scheduling of the event. The main purpose of participation is the simple factor of giving back and our contribution to the unity within our community. The state of our current economy heavily influences aspects of the relationship between communities and to partake in the uniting of students, teachers, faculty, and outside guest provides a sense of satisfaction to our chapter. Making a difference in the community contributes a sense of humbleness within the chapter. Advocacy Month is a time of opportunity support and contribute to multiple causes within the community, and our chapter chooses to give back by supporting the process of uniting the community.
States Before States
By: Lindsay Studstill, Vice President of Leadership Buchholz High School
What is the best way to prepare for states? Holding a miniature states among our chapter members. Each February, our chapter holds a showcase for all of our members attending states to present their project, or preform a practice role-play to alumni, or business owners and managers from around Gainesville. This is one of my favorite practices of our chapter holds every year.
Every year, our officer team works hard to bring in different professionals and alumni from around Gainesville to help out students prepare for states. These professionals and alumni come in during class and help our members who are attending states on their role-plays and presentations.
Although our members practice during class, I believe that our showcase is what truly helps them the most. Participants dress in professional dress, and sit at a desk with their professional or alumni. They then present their role-play or presentation and are judged based off the performance indicators for their category.
After the participants present, each judge provides the participant with their comments and suggestions. This practice is extremely beneficial for freshman and members that have not been to states, so they know more of what to expect when they arrive in Orlando. States can seem pretty intimidating for those who have never been, so showcase provides them with a trial run before they have to present in front of the real judges.
Not only is the showcase beneficial for those who have never been, but it is also a great opportunity for returners to brush up on their skills before returning to Orlando. I believe that this is one of the best practices to help our members prepare and excel at states.
Buchholz High School
February Chapter Chatter
This year, the DECA program at Buchholz High School is thriving. We have made it our mission to achieve each and every goal that requires the status of “Diamond” chapter, and we are almost there. Since the beginning of the school year, our chapter projects have been working hard on their events and how to market them. As a result of their hard work, all six projects have been selected to move on to States. Our chapter has also been actively collaborating with the BHS student government in coordinating major fundraising events such as The Sleepout, a night filled with team-building activities, socializing, and a guest speaker who talked about the importance of recycling. One of our chapter project teams put together an event called “Bring It” during which kids and families around town could come and be exposed to career ideas and skills. This event also enabled us to advocate for DECA and entrepreneurship. Our latest endeavor occurred on January 19, as our officers met with Shannon Ritter ( the program specialist for career and technical education in Alachua County) and participated in a training session that helped to prepare them for an upcoming advocacy campaign at the Alachua School Board meeting. This meeting was a crucial step in helping to raise awareness for the goals DECA is striving to achieve both in the classroom and throughout the community.
President: Diondre Treakle
Booker T. Washington High School DECA
December Chapter Chatter
How does your chapter prepare for competition: Our Chapter Is known for bringing home achievements from competitions? The Florida Deca Career Development Conferences is the most important time of the year for us, and the road to getting there is a long road traveled. Majority of the Florida schools beginning their year within the month of August and our chapter immediately start our preparations of State Competition in September. The 2017-2018 DECA Officer team is very well rounded and this year we have directors of specific categories, and Samantha Thompson is the Director of Competitive Events. Samantha works tirelessly on preparing our student on the upcoming competition and every Thursday for the time of 3:15 p.m. – 4:30p.m. she has made herself available to assist the student who will be competing with anything that they possibly could need help with. Given that Samantha is experienced and well versed when it comes to competing she has placed herself on the level of our elite students, and she has become a great asset to our Chapter. Within the month of December our student who have been working should be coming to the end of the project, this is when our elite student and Advisor Carla Ross would take time to thoroughly critique and correct anything that could be improved. Our semester schedule allows our student to have a sufficient amount of time to select a project, preform the performance indicators, and then successfully execute the project so, the steps of preparation for state is rigorous but its efficient.
Business Lovers are Basketball Lovers Too
Living in Gainesville provides our chapter with some pretty unique opportunities. One of the coolest things we’ve done this year was the first annual DECA Night with the Florida Gators. On January 15th Buchholz and Gainesville High DECA were given the opportunity to attend the University of Florida Men’s Basketball game against SEC opponent Auburn. Tickets were sold for only seven dollars and students were invited to bring family and friends who could also purchase tickets at that seven dollar rate.
When Michelle Wagner of the University of Florida Athletic Association first reached out to us about this event we were overjoyed. My officer team and I had spent quite a long time brainstorming engaging or interesting events that would promote DECA to the Gainesville community while providing our chapter the chance to bond with other chapters in the area. DECA Night with the Florida Gators provided us with the perfect opportunity to do just that!
On the night of the game, the O’Connell Center was overflowing with people all gathered to cheer on the Gators. We, as members of Buchholz and Gainesville High School DECA, had the opportunity to be a part of this energetic environment. The University of Florida reserved a block of seats specifically for us, VIP treatment if you ask me.
Students from both high schools along with family and friends sat together and watched the game. It was truly great to see our members enjoying themselves. It is important to remember that your chapter is not solely about competitions or conferences. DECA offers students an outlet to connect with those of similar interests, like business. But we, DECA members, are not just business lovers, we are basketball lovers too.
Buchholz High School
What is your favorite DECA event/memory so far this year?
DECA at Miramar high has always been more than club to us and out of all the trips we been on with DECA from the Miami heat field trip to the Miami dolphins field trip ,but overall our most favorite event was the emerging leaders’ summit on October 29 -31 2014. From when we first heard about this trip, to be excited was an understatement. Getting the opportunity to interact with other DECA members from all over Florida. From Stoneman Douglas, to South Plantation, Cooper City, to even Monarch High school. Seeing and conversing with all these DECA members from all over Florida makes us realize we’re not the only chapter with a strive, a dedication, and a passion for DECA. Not to mention the wonderful events that transpired from the leadership workshops. With all the knowledge we obtained from the workshops we got the chance to bring it back to our DECA chapter and enlightened them with our vast knowledge. To the astounding lip sync contest where we really got to show off our passion for entertaining our DECA members. From the unique and peculiar costume contest where people got to show off their DECA spirit (DECA dork, DECA twin, Miscellaneous, etc.).Although all those events were amazing the overall benefit of being at ELS (Emerging Leaders’ Summit), and engaged with other DECA chapters was both breathtaking and bittersweet, because we had to pack up and go back home.