Chapter Officers: What is your team legacy?
Chapter officers listen up! February is here and that means that in just a few short months, your term as a chapter officer will be coming to a close. What have you accomplished this year that will help to leave a legacy for your officer team? Is a community service component on your list of accomplishments? I would like to encourage all chapters to look within their own community for ways that they can get involved and help to shape their legacy even outside of their chapter. From collection drives to volunteering time, a community outreach project will help your members to see the bigger picture. As once said by Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” As Florida DECA, we hold collection drives twice a year, in a campaign known as Helping Hands, to benefit deserving organizations across the state. We encourage all chapters to participate in Helping Hands as well as complete additional community service programs in their surrounding areas. Each of your communities that supports your chapters are unique; perhaps a local hospital is fundraising to make an ill teenagers wish come true or a service organization needs assistance and volunteers to plan a 5K race. These are the things that your chapter can help with, DECA members are experts in fundraising and event planning! Don’t be afraid to reach out and offer your assistance and maybe even change a life or two. So Chapter officers, take advantage of these last opportunity to help your local community and start a precedent for future officers to follow. If you have questions about getting involved in your community, talk to your advisor or ask one of the Florida officers for help.
Juan Sanchez’s Tips for Applying for DECA Scholarship Shared by Wesley!
The deadline of January 16th, 2015 to submit scholarship applications is quickly approaching and when I saw this article providing tips on applying for scholarships, I knew it was one that I wanted to share with Florida DECA members. Every year DECA Inc., in partnership with the National Advisory Board and Corporate sponsors, awards $300,000 to qualifying high school and college DECA members. These scholarships are offered only to DECA members with the hopes that members will be able to pursue their dreams for the future. In his article, which was originally published on DECA Direct, Juan Sanchez, gives the following suggestions to DECA members who will be applying for scholarships:
1. Don’t wait until the last minute! - January 16th will be here before you know it. Start planning early to utilize this amazing opportunity to the fullest extent.
2. Know that you must register and create an account to submit your scholarship applications. - All applications for scholarships will be submitted using the official DECA Scholarship Website (http://www.decaregistration.com/scholarship/). Using this link, you create an account or access an account previously established. When creating an account, be sure to fill in all of the required information and save your username and password. All of your information will be saved and associated with those login credentials. Also, be sure to include everything that you have done with DECA, including leadership positions you have held, to increase your chances for scholarships.
3. Look for applications that are specific to you! - When applying for scholarships, determine which most closely match your interests. Some scholarships are offered through specific schools and others are related to your background experience. For example, a Publix associate would want to apply for the Publix Scholarship.
Florida DECA members, now is your opportunity to take advantage of these scholarships offered by DECA. Take action now before it’s too late!
To see the original article by Juan Sanchez published on DECA Direct visit: http://www.decadirect.org/November-2014/3-Tips-to-Keep-in-Mind-When-Applying-for-DECA-Scholarships/
Let’s Make a Plan
Florida DECA members let’s take a moment to talk about 2015! Seeing how this will be my last written blog for this calendar year, I want to help spread some encouragement as we approach all the new opportunities in the new year. First of all, I have to ask you to give yourselves a pat on the back. Our members here in Florida are incredibly motivated and I am excited to see the growth that 2015 will bring to our organization. We are right at three months away from the Florida DECA Career Development Conference, (at the time of publication) and this means that your time to shine is now. Between manuals, role play practice, virtual business challenges, and test preparations; these next few months are sure to be busby. It’s up to you though to make sure that this time is used wisely to insure success. Make a plan now to prepare yourself for competition so that you can see yourself on stage at the International Career Development Conference in the Spring. Take advantage of the DECA Compete app to help you gain knowledge for your testing events. If you have a role play or presentation, check out my video blog from this month CLICK HERE where I am sharing some helpful advice to give your presentation a winning edge. I promise that having the opportunity to compete on the State or even International level will enhance your entire DECA experience. It’s entirely up to you though to determine how far you will go. I have always believed that DECA is an organization that will give back to your every bit that you put into it. My question for you is, “How badly do you want to succeed this year?” Florida DECA, lets make a plan, wether it be in the form of a New Years Resolution or a promise to yourself, let’s make 2015 the year that you show how “You are DECA”
I AM __________
DECA members, this is your year! The theme “I am DECA” is designed with you in mind; to be sure that all of the incredible members around the globe experience a year of excitement, success, and overwhelming support unlike anything other organizations can provide. This simple statement becomes your action statement for you to develop. What do you want to become? A leader, a trainer, a winner, an inspiration, an officer?
This year is entirely up to you. It’s time to take risks and step out of that comfort zone while showing your inner voice. However you chose to fill your “I am” statement, make it entirely you. Set goals now and be prepared to see them through. Show to the world your excitement for the organization that you are part of by posting your “I am DECA” selfies on social media. Fulfill those goals of placing at ICDC or signing up for that officer position you never thought you would be able to reach. The world is at your fingertips over the next few months. It’s up to you to take advantage of these opportunities.
Will you add to your DECA story new chapters that show your passion and success? How will you be sure that the time you have will be used to help your future self? Proclaim your desires to be a leader, a success, a winner, an officer, or anything else this year by proudly voicing “I AM DECA!”
Making a Difference with Community Service
Community service is the connection between Florida DECA, our over 9,000 members, and the communities that we all reside in across Florida. One of the most important outreach options a chapter may be faced with is the opportunity to contribute to charitable organizations that make a difference in the lives of others. By choosing to make a contribution, whether it be volunteering you time, raising money, or holding a item collection drive to donate items to the organization, your chapter is directly impacting the lives of individuals in need. This desire to be a part of something bigger is so deeply imbedded in the principles of DECA that Florida DECA as well as International DECA both hold fundraisers of some sort at their conferences to benefit a charitable organization.
As we start a new DECA year, we encourage all schools to discuss the possibility of spending some of your year organizing a way to make an impact in your community. So how can a chapter start to look for a charity in their area? Every city or town is different and the cause that your chapter choses to donate to will likely vary from that of another chapter. We suggest that each Chapter Officer Team looks to their local communities to identify not only what the needs are, but also to find an attainable and realistic goal to pursue throughout the year. This can be accomplished through different websites as well as making a phone call to your city hall to find out what items (or volunteers) local charities may need. Secondly, your chapter will want to reach out to the charity and find out how much of the item (or volunteers) they can accept. If you plan to collect items from your members, plan out how you will deliver the items to the charity once the drive has concluded. Lastly, be sure to promote your drive or volunteer event. Use social media, your schools phone-home or Closed Circuit Television program to get the word out to students not currently in DECA. Also, have students sign up to works shifts or to bring in items (whichever is needed). Overall, working with a local charity will definitely take some time and effort to develop, though the connections and the experiences your members will gain are priceless. A great questions to always keep in mind is “When this year comes to a close, how will my chapter have made our mark?”
Summer is flying by and soon the 2014-15 school year will begin. This means a new officer team, new challenges and new opportunities for our many chapters across the state. For chapter officers, this time of year means developing your individual chapters Program of Work (POW), or how your chapter’s goals will tie in to the Florida Annual Business Plan (a document which will be released later) as well as aligning with the international DECA program of work. Amar Hodzic, the DECA Southern Region Vice President, suggests the following tips when you are preparing your Program of Work:
1. Incorporate the Entire Team - When ownership is accepted among all the officer team from your school, those individuals are more likely to dedicate time and follow through with these different tasks or plans.
2. What do the members want to see? - Make your different tasks or goals member oriented. Your members want to see certain aspects of their chapter shine. Ask for their input if possible, members love to feel that their opinion counts!
3. Brainstorm - When a group works together to create something, the possibilities are endless. Everyone has a different imagination and this is their time to shine. Remember that no idea is a bad one.
4. Take your Time - "Rome wasn't build in a day!" Many aspects of your Program of Work are going to require input from others as well as approval. Put in the time and don't get frustrated if these document takes time to produce. The outcomes will affect all of your members, make sure that everyone is on board.
5. Execution is Key - Work to gain your members excitement and engagement with reasonable and attainable goals. Your approach to the plan will make a difference in how your members react.
This is a busy time of year for students, though it is important that every chapter sets goals early. The five key aspects of a goal are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. When looking to prepare for your DECA year, always remember that your Florida DECA officers are always here to help in any way we can.
To see the original article by Amar published on DECA Direct visit: http://www.decadirect.org/June-2014/5-Ways-to-Put-a-WOW-in-your-POW/
The special Emerging Leaders Summit "DECA after dark" sessions allowed for me to learn about several important topics ranging from an Internship in Washington D.C. to the art of story telling. Below, I want to share with you some of the things I learned at these three presentations:
1. Story Telling: The art of story telling involves many key aspects that allow for stories that you hear to be as effective as they are. You want to make sure that any story that you tell enhances your message or presentation and will ultimately have a message. Make sure that your audience learns something. A great way to learn about how to tell a story is to learn from others who are already writing compelling stories. One way to do just this is to watch videos from the popular website ted.com where professional and gifted speakers enlighten audiences on amazing topics through oral stories/presentations. Another great tip for those individuals who are working to become better speakers or story tellers is to learn to develop their voice into their presentation. Remember that you are the hero of your own story!
2. Internships in D.C: When looking at the opportunities for potential college internships in D.C., there are often many things one needs to consider. Realizing that many internships can be hard to get into, the best way to get involved is by locally applying for positions to gain experience and then working your way out. There are usually around three officers that are politically based and will accept internships: The White House, The Senate, and The House. While working as a volunteer for The White House, one would likely believe that they would be working within The White House however, this has been discovered to be a myth. Most White House inters work at satellite offices away from the actual landmark. Another important aspect discussed was the fact that when you apply for different opportunities, keep in mind what it is that you want to gain from this experience. For example, a White House intern would not get to work with the President however, a House intern would likely have many opportunities to interact with their elected official. When looking to apply for positions, be sure to have experience behind you and contact the office for that representative in your home state. Ultimately, these positions are highly competitive and involve lots of work, though in the end, an intern can gain incredible experience.
3. Scholarships: When applying for scholarships, make sure that you visit your guidance counselor often to be sure that you are up-to-date on all of the most recent available scholarships. You also want to make sure that you look for scholarships that have a smaller applicant pool. One example of this would be DECA scholarships which are exclusive to only DECA members. Also be sure to check with your specific college or university to see what kinds of scholarships that they may offer or honor. Another helpful tip when writing college essays is to have a professional help you with the work. You want to make sure that you stand out and a great way to do this is to start strong, often with a visual. You can also talk about the things that you are involved with and any failures you might have experienced in your lifetime. College begins the next chapter of your life, make sure that you spend the time during your high schools years to set yourself up for success.
These were some very helpful tips that I learned today during day two of the DECA Emerging Leaders Summit. I hope that in some way, our members can use these tips to grow their future opportunities.
DECA is all about preparing emerging leaders for future careers and today, at the opening session for DECA ELS, we learned that over 10,000 leaders retire each day. Leaders are in high demand and for students, this creates an amazing opportunity. DECA starts preparing high school students for current and future leadership positions while they are still in school. Unlike many conventional leaders who experience training only after an average age of 44, DECA can start as early as 14, a difference of thirty years. For students, this emphasizes the importance to take full advantage of the opportunities that you are presented with in high school as they may just make the difference in your future careers. My take-away from today is that students can have the opportunity to expand their future now in a way that can help them prepare for jobs in a secure, stable, and promising field. Therefore, students should strive to take full advantage of all of these incredible opportunities each and every day while proclaiming to the world that they will be the next amazing leader.
Congratulations Florida DECA
As the year comes to a close for many schools across Florida, I would like to take this moment to say “Congratulations!” to all of our members and especially those who competed at the International Career Development Conference this past May. You’ve made it count throughout this past year, and now you are using our new theme “I am DECA” to show the incredible attributes that you have that make you unique. A year of testing, presentations, awards, traveling, and DECAing (this may not be an official word yet, but it will be one day) has proven your strengths, talents, and interests. Over the next year, there is so much to look forward to. I encourage you to spend these next few weeks of summer vacation to plan, study, prepare, and get a head start on the 2014-2015 DECA year. Florida DECA has some of the most hard working and amazing members and I am so proud of your accomplishments over the past year. To those who have competed in past years, keep up the hard work! To those who have never competed with DECA, I encourage you to get involved, study, and challenge yourself so that you might see the incredible benefits that DECA conferences bring. Hard work really does pay off, and I am confident that if you invest the time in DECA, you will see the incredible opportunities that will come your way over the next year. With new competitive events (check out the new events here: http://goo.gl/3IS9WR) and new opportunities that are coming your way over the next few months, I know that amazing things are sure to happen! Best of luck to all of you over the summer and as you begin the next chapter in your DECA lives.
It’s likely that you have heard the statement “Make it Count!” so many times over the past year that it has become almost second nature for you to use the slogan in everyday context. Though as we prepare to take on our new theme for 2014-2015, “I am DECA”, I think it is important that we take a moment to analyze, for one final time, the meaning behind these three simple words.
To me, “Make it Count” means that everyday I am making the very most of every opportunity. So many times in life, opportunities are not taken advantage of. As DECA students, as officers, as human beings, our days are limited. We cannot afford to do anything less than to make the most of every day. “Make it Count!” is so inspirational because of all of the truth and wisdom behind that statement. As the technology genius Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” When presented with an opportunity, seize the moment! When you have that one special chance, go out and make it happen.
Just because the DECA theme is changing soon, this doesn’t mean that you should forget the drive and inspiration that “Make it Count!” brought to DECA. “Make it Count!” can be applied to so much more in life than just DECA. I encourage all of you to be the risk-takers, to be the ones that challenge life as you look for your special talent, and above all, to be the ones that “Make it Count!” each and every day.