How to Conquer DECA’s Advocacy Campaign

Photo courtesy of Appleton North DECA (Wis.)

Career and Technical Education Month (#CTEMonth) is almost here, and that means it’s time to start planning for DECA’s Advocacy Campaign!

The DECA Advocacy Campaign challenges chapters to host three school outreach activities, three community outreach activities and show three examples of public policy maker outreach.

By achieving these goals, your chapter will receive a pennant, a special plaque from DECA’s Congressional Advisory Board and a letter of recognition sent to your school administrator and government officials!

I reached out to some association officers to hear what advice they have about advocating and conquering DECA’s Advocacy Campaign.

Here’s what they had to say:

Hayden Pfaff – Texas DECA President

“Host a CTE event with other CTSOs in your school, or even with other nearby schools. Have each organization or school invite public policy makers to attend and have students present to them about the importance of CTE. This would be a great opportunity to network with public officials and share your DECA story!”

Hayden’s Advocacy Tips:

  • Contact your policy maker’s intern or assistant, because they often can get you an appointment faster than contacting the actual official.
  • Prepare ahead of time, incorporate facts and statistics about DECA’s impact into your presentation and share personal examples of how DECA has impacted you.
  • Tell your official to vote Perkins!
  • Take a picture, post it on social media and write a thank you note afterwards.

Sloane Yates – North Carolina DECA Vice President

“As a member, I was surprised by the desire of my community leaders to listen to how DECA has changed my life. You might be asking yourself, ‘How is talking about myself advocating?’ A common misconception about advocacy is that you need a request, but simply sharing your passion for DECA with others helps to continue the tradition of excellence and excitement that surrounds our organization.”

Sloane’s Advocacy Tips:

  • Don’t forget to start small! Reach out to your school or county education leaders when advocating. Even speaking with a principal or superintendent about the opportunities DECA has afforded you is a great way to advocate.
  • Sharing your DECA story with these local officials through a simple conversation, letter or even inviting them to a chapter event is a great way to showcase the impact our organization has on you and your community.

Zeke Peters – Minnesota DECA Vice President of Business & Industry

“Representing an organization you live for is simple and easy. Just by being an active DECA participant and by being a positive role model you are advocating for DECA! Always maintain an executive presence when representing the organization, and share your DECA story and with others.” 

Zeke’s Advocacy Tips:

  • Advocating is easier than you think if you make sure your message is clear and organized.
  • Present to your school or school board
  • Use the presentation skills you learned in your DECA competitive events
  • Most importantly, have fun with it!

Hayley Haas – Nevada DECA Vice President

“By completing the Advocacy Campaign, your chapter is making a difference in your community’s CTE awareness, which in turn makes DECA and similar organizations more available for students just like you! Last year, my chapter wrote letters to government officials in our area, and we even received an email back from our Mayor’s office about guest-speaking!”

Hayley’s Advocacy Tips:

  • There really are no bounds to how you can advocate for CTE — write letters, make phone calls and even schedule in-person presentations with your local officials.
  • Advocating is also a fantastic outlet for newer members to become acquainted with the outreach that is such an integral part of DECA’s mission.

While these are great tips and ideas to help get you started, your chapter’s success in this campaign comes down to you! Use the month of February to share your DECA story with as many people as possible. Share how DECA has impacted your life and encourage members of your community to get involved in your chapter’s activities.

After you’ve completed the campaign, learn how to share your chapter’s accomplishments through the online submission site.

Remember, only activities during the month of February count towards your involvement in this campaign and all submissions are due March 1, 2017.

And of course, be sure to share all of your DECA advocacy experiences using #CTEMonth!

Follow Donlad on Twitter @DECA_Donald.

Categories: Advocacy, Chapter Campaigns, Chapter Development, Chapter Resources