Put an End to "What Is DECA?"
Let’s face it—DECA’s on your mind pretty often. Competitive events, community service projects, chapter meetings . . . and the list continues! With everything going on, chances are that you devote a significant portion of your day to planning, discussing and thinking about DECA.
But can you say the same for other members of your community? Think about those school administrators, public policymakers and business owners whose efforts have a profound impact on your community; they need to know about DECA, too. Fortunately, February is Career and Technical Education Month! This is the perfect time to promote DECA through an advocacy campaign and put an end to the question: “What is DECA?”
Let’s Get Started
It’s difficult to advocate for something if you don’t know about it, so don’t leave your audience in the dark about DECA. Begin by educating school administrators, public policymakers and business professionals in your community about what DECA is and what it stands for.
Talking about competitive events and trips to cool locations is great, but don’t forget to mention the ways in which DECA impacts your audience. Think about how DECA gives back to your community, helps promote and support local businesses and prepares the future workforce (that’s you!) for college and careers.
Activate Your Advocacy
Put together a plan of action for your chapter’s advocacy campaign. Make a list of key individuals in each category—think of people who might ask “What is DECA?” These might include:
- School administrators: Think school board members, school principals and guidance counselors. These people have influence over what classes are offered and what activities students can participate in. Make sure DECA is on their list!
- Public policymakers: Reach out to your town’s mayor, city council and the state legislators for your area or district. It’s crucial to have their support when it comes to legislation and budget decisions that impact our organization. Help them get to know DECA!
- Community business partners: Local chambers of commerce, business owners, local media outlets and other civic groups are key to spreading the word about DECA in the real world. Include them on your list of people who need to know how DECA impacts their community!
Come up with a list of activities you can do in February to introduce these groups to DECA. Deliver a DECA presentation to the school board. Have your chapter members write letters to your legislator. Invite a local business owner to present to your class. These simple ideas go a long way—especially when they come directly from members! For even more ideas, check out the “Advocacy Campaign” section on DECA’s Chapter Campaigns page. (Hint: Start planning now so your chapter is ready to go in February!)
Make It Count
Take full advantage of DECA’s Advocacy Campaign with the power of three. Execute three outreach activities in each of the three categories (school outreach, public policymakers outreach and community outreach), and you’ll have completed DECA’s Advocacy Campaign! Snap photos and write descriptions of your activities as you go, and remember that the deadline to submit all your hard work is March 1, 2013. DECA will recognize your chapter with a pennant, a plaque from DECA’s Congressional Advisory Board and a letter of recognition to your school and government officials.
This February, it’s your responsibility to put an end to “What is DECA?” Make sure that members of your community will say, “I know—and support—DECA!” through a DECA Advocacy Campaign.