4 Tips to Enhance Your Chapter’s Community Engagement

Won Bin Lee | Dougherty Valley DECA

Career & Technical Education (CTE)’s Advocacy Month may be coming to a close, but it’s never a bad time for your chapter to reach out and engage your community with DECA.

The benefits of community engagement are countless – simply by scheduling and attending a few meetings, you can help strengthen local legislative support for Career & Technical Education, gain sponsorships from local businesses, obtain work experience opportunities for members, and find fun chapter activities opportunities!

Here are four tips to help you unlock the limitless potential of your community:

  • Speak to Local Government Officials

Meeting with your mayor, assembly person, and/or congressperson is amongst the best ways to raise awareness about the value that CTE programs and career-oriented organizations – like DECA – have for students. You may think that your one voice won’t be significant, but every student testimonial can help strengthen CTE programs and DECA chapters across your region. Don’t hesitate to go online, find your local government officials’ emails, and ask to speak to them about your experience with DECA!

  • Meet with Chambers of Commerce

Chambers of Commerce, which are organizations that represent the business interests of a region, are great groups to visit if you hope to strengthen your DECA chapter’s ties with the local business community.  Many Chambers are open to helping chapters connect with individual businesses, organize business tours, and even arrange shadowing/internship opportunities for members, so consider contacting them to help enrich your members’ DECA experiences!

  • Contact Local Businesses

If it is hard to contact your local Chamber, or if you have specific businesses that you hope to contact, reaching out to individual businesses is a great option as well. This can be especially useful if you hope to obtain sponsorships for events, such as a minicon, or arrange a fundraiser/chapter activity night. Restaurants are especially great to contact for these opportunities!

  • Visit Teen Councils

Reaching out to your community doesn’t necessarily mean meeting with officials and businesses. Many cities have Teen Councils, consisted of representatives from high schools in the locale, that work with the City Council. Many of these reps are often interested in promoting entrepreneurial careers and opportunities in youth, so contact them to spread word about DECA’s benefits and to enhance member recruitment efforts!

This article was written by Dougherty Valley DECA Vice President of Marketing, Won Bin Lee. You can follow Dougherty Valley DECA on Twitter @DVHSDECA.

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